As previous False Claims Act (FCA) Fundamentals posts have discussed, the FCA, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq., can be triggered by submitting claims tied to violations of certain federal statutes. This post will explain the basics of two such statutes: the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Stark Law.

Continue Reading False Claims Act Fundamentals: Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law

I was recently interviewed on the Healthcare Strategies podcast about how the Department of Justice (DOJ) is enforcing the Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative to hold healthcare organizations accountable for cybersecurity matters. The Initiative, launched by DOJ in October 2021, utilizes the False Claims Act (FCA) to take action against entities that knowingly provide insufficient data security measures.

Continue Reading DOJ’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative Impact on Healthcare Organizations

The first quarter of 2022 brought news of several noteworthy False Claims Act (FCA) settlements, including several settlements by physicians regarding arrangements deemed to be unlawful kickbacks and the first settlement under the Department of Justice’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative.  This post summarizes key settlements of interest to healthcare providers and government contractors.

Continue Reading False Claims Act Settlements to Know from Q1 2022

As discussed in a previous post, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a new Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative to utilize one of the strongest tools in its toolbox—the False Claims Act—to hold entities receiving federal dollars accountable where it believes they are failing to meet their cybersecurity obligations.
Continue Reading What Does the DOJ’s New Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative Mean for You?

Last week, the District Court for the Eastern District of California denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment of a False Claims Act (FCA) count against Aerojet Rocketdyne (Aerojet) for allegedly fraudulently inducing the government to enter into federal contracts when the company knew it was not compliant with cybersecurity requirements.

Continue Reading Government Contractors Face False Claims Act Liability for Cybersecurity Non-Compliance

There is a new weapon in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) already powerful False Claims Act (FCA) arsenal.  In October 2021, the DOJ announced a new Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, under which it will pursue FCA liability against government contractors in the cybersecurity space.  According to the announcement from Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, the initiative seeks to “hold accountable entities or individuals that put U.S. information or systems at risk by knowingly providing deficient cybersecurity products or services, knowingly misrepresenting their cybersecurity protocols, or knowingly violating obligations to monitor and report cybersecurity incidents and breaches.”

Overview of the Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative

The Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative follows several significant cyberattacks, which are only becoming more prevalent. The new initiative is the first formal step DOJ has taken in combatting them by focusing on the preventative cybersecurity efforts of government contractors.

Continue Reading DOJ Expands False Claims Act Reach into Cybersecurity

In a February 4, 2016, decision, United States ex rel. Wall v. Circle C. Construction, LLC, the Sixth Circuit summarily rejected the government’s assertion that the measure of damages in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit involving a violation of prevailing wage rate requirements was the total amount paid for the work.  The Sixth

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a relator who pleaded guilty to a felony that involved the same fraudulent conduct that gave rise to the relator’s qui tam suit in U.S. ex rel. Schroeder v. CH2M Hill. The FCA’s § 3730(d)(3) requires dismissal of a relator from a qui tam lawsuit and precludes the relator from any recovery in the lawsuit, “[i]f the relator has been convicted of criminal conduct arising from his or her role in the violation of section 3729.” In Schroeder, the Ninth Circuit concluded that this provision applied even to minor participants in the underlying alleged misconduct, who neither planned nor initiated the fraudulent scheme.

The relator, who was employed by the defendant government contractor, was involved in an underlying fraudulent scheme to bill the Department of Energy (DOE) by submitting false time cards to DOE for hourly work. After his interview by investigators, the relator pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to commit fraud. After his interview, but before pleading guilty, the relator filed suit under the FCA against his employer concerning the DOE fraud scheme. The United States intervened and moved to dismiss the relator from the lawsuit under § 3730(d)(3) as a result of his felony conviction.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Takes Hard Line against Relators Involved in FCA Wrongdoing

The D.C. Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of a serial relator’s qui tam lawsuit under the FCA’s first-to-file bar in U.S. ex rel. Heath v. AT&T, Inc., finding that the relator’s two qui tam lawsuits targeted factually distinct types of frauds. The D.C. Circuit further determined that the relator’s qui tam lawsuit satisfied the pleading requirements of Rule 9(b).
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Reverses District Court Dismissal of Qui Tam Lawsuit