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Justice Dept. Sets Fraud Recovery Record; Half of Amount Comes from Bank of America and Johnson & Johnson

  

sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com | December 7, 2014 

By Noel Brinkerhoff

The Department of Justice under President Barack Obama has made it a priority to go after corporations for committing fraud and false claims, and officials have the dollar amounts from the settlements to show for it.

During the previous fiscal year, Justice lawyers obtained a record amount ($5.69 billion) in deals negotiated with the likes of Bank of America (BofA), Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and other violators.

Never before had the Justice Department exceeded $5 billion in cases under the False Claims Act (pdf), according to an agency press release.

Since Obama took office in January 2009, the agency has produced $22.75 billion in settlements under the act.

BofA and J&J accounted for half of the monies collected for fraud and false claims cases during FY 2014.

The bank agreed to pay $1.85 billion to resolve claims stemming from the housing and mortgage crisis, while J&J and its subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Scios, paid $1.1 billion to resolve claims relating to the drugs Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor for marketing them for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

In addition, J&J paid “more than $600 million in civil claims for state Medicaid programs and $485 million in criminal fines and forfeitures, making this $2.2 billion global resolution of the government’s claims one of the largest health care fraud settlements in U.S. history,” according to the Justice Department.

“In the past three years, we have achieved the three largest annual recoveries ever recorded under the statute,” Acting Associate Attorney General Delery said. “This sustained success demonstrates that these figures result not only from large individual matters, but from a continuous commitment year after year to pursue those who defraud taxpayers and to remain vigilant in identifying those who would unlawfully obtain money from the federal fisc.”

Most claims filed on behalf of the government under the False Claims Act are through the law’s whistleblower provisions. If the claim is successful, the whistleblower receives up to 30% of the recovery amount. The number of such suits filed in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 exceeded 700, amounting to nearly $3 billion in recoveries. Whistleblowers were awarded $435 million of that total.

 

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CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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