A team of Bay Area plaintiffs lawyers struck a $78.5 million deal in a long-running false claims suit that accused the University of Phoenix of rewarding recruiters for enrolling students, according to a settlement agreement announced Monday.

The agreement, which includes $11 million in attorney fees for the plaintiffs, is among the largest settlements ever of a False Claim Act fraud case in which the government didn’t intervene, said Eric Havian, a qui tam expert and partner with Phillips & Cohen in San Francisco who was not involved in the case.

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