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Justice Department Announces Record-Breaking Recoveries in White-Collar Crime Investigations

In the fiscal year from September, 30th 2013 through 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained a record amount of $5.69 billion in judgments and settlements from white-collar cases that involved false claims and fraud committed against the government. This amount is record-breaking because it is the first time that the DOJ exceeded the receipt of $5 billion of funds from cases brought under the False Claims Act. Now the total amount of recovery under the Act since January 2009 has exceeded $22.75 billion. This impressive recovery has been the result of the federal government’s enhanced focus on prosecuting white-collar crimes, especially those related to the financial services industry. Furthermore, the increased prosecution and resulting recoveries have been heavily aided by an enhanced focus on false claims beings submitted to federal healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Recovery from health care fraud amounted to around $2.3 billion of the total amount recovered in 2013-2014 by the DOJ.

Mortgage and Housing Fraud Recovery

Over $3 billion in fraudulent funds acquired as a result of the mortgage and housing crises was obtained by the DOJ. These payments came from big name corporate banks such as Bank of America, which paid $1.85 billion, $614 million from JPMorgan Chase, $200 million from U.S. Bank, and $428 million from SunTrust Mortgage Inc. A big part of Bank of America’s portion surrounded faulty mortgage underwriting practices as they related to mortgages that the bank sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as loans that had been insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Many of the funds obtained by the DOJ in relation to mortgage and housing fraud similarly revolve around faulty and fraudulent mortgage underwriting practices, as well as general abuse and misrepresentation to the federal housing agencies such as the FHA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Health Care Fraud Recovery

Approximately $2.3 billion was recovered by the DOJ as a result of health care fraud judgments and settlements. Most of this money was recovered from cases involving false claims submitted to receive benefits from federal health care programs of TRICARE, Medicare and Medicaid. Part of the success with regards to health care fraud recovery is the 2009 creation of the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a federal interagency task force created in order to facilitate increased coordination and enhancement of both criminal and civil enforcement of health care fraud laws and regulations. The results of HEAT’s efforts has been the recovery of over $14.5 billion as a result of cases brought under the False Claims Act. Furthermore, recoveries from the pharmaceutical industry provided a substantial part of the heath care fraud recovery amount, and many of these claims were also brought under the False Claims Act. Johnson & Johnson, the global pharmaceutical giant, was ordered to pay $1.1 billion under the act as a result of claims that the company had promoted the use of drugs that were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for being effective and safe.

In addition to aggressively pursuing healthcare fraud and mortgage fraud claims, the DOJ also recovered funds related to fraud in government procurement projects. If you need legal representation in a federal white-collar suit, contact Jeffrey S. Weiner P.A. in South Miami today. Mr. Weiner is prepared to put his experience and knowledge to work for you and provide you with legal assistance.

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