Will FY 2013 be a lackluster year for False Claims Act recoveries?

by Ben Vernia | September 20th, 2013

With ten days to go in the 2013 fiscal year, the Department of Justice has yet to score a blockbuster settlement or judgment to bring its False Claims Act recovery total in line with previous years. Settlements announced on Main Justice’s website total just over $1.5 billion. By comparison, DOJ recovered $3.3 billion in FY 2012, including the civil portion of the GlaxoSmithKline settlement in July 2012, which alone equals the total to date for 2013.

It is common for the recovery sum to be dominated by blockbuster settlements, but this years’ – including the December Amgen settlement for Aranesp, at $587 million for the federal civil share, and May’s $350 million from Ranbaxy – are an order of magnitude smaller than those of recent years. With the exception of those two months, the Main Justice-announced monthly totals were at or below $100 million, and frequently well below $50 million.

Despite the apparent downward trend, the remaining ten days could turn it around. DOJ officials, aware of the impending fiscal year end, sometimes push to close settlements in the final hours.

(These amounts do not include recoveries obtained in local U.S. Attorney offices, and judgments whose collection DOJ did not announce on their website. It also does not include uncollected, but announced judgments, such as June’s $473 million award against United Technologies Corp., which is currently on appeal.)

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