Practical Law Featured Article: Understanding the False Claims Act

April 23, 2014

Practical Law logo newThe False Claims Act (FCA) has become the primary tool in the government’s arsenal to combat fraud. Amendments to the FCA in 1986, 2009 and 2010, strengthened several key provisions of the statute, including the whistleblower and damages provisions, making it easier for the government and whistleblowers to file suit. The FCA has been so effective that the government has been able to recover more than $35 billion since 1986, of which almost $9 billion was recovered in 2012 and 2013 alone. Although certain industries have been targeted for FCA enforcement, understanding FCA liability is important for any entity or person that does business, directly or indirectly, with the government.

The new Practical Law Practice Note, Understanding the False Claims Act, provides an overview of the FCA and highlights the primary issues for counsel to consider when defending an FCA action.

Specifically, the Note explains:

  • The key FCA liability provisions.
  • The main differences between qui tam cases and cases where the government is involved.
  • The corollary state FCAs that may be applicable in certain cases.
  • The potential defenses that may be asserted, the damages and penalties a defendant faces if it is found liable under the FCA.
  • The steps that a company can take to minimize exposure to FCA liability.

To read the full Practice Note, visit Understanding the False Claims Act.