The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Tuesday that the False Claims Act reached a record $5 billion in penalties in the federal fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30. Do you think balloons and a banner popped down from the ceiling when they hit that number? Let’s hope so.

The previous record, from 2006, was $3.1 billion. This year blew it out of the water, helped in large part by an enormous off-label marketing settlement from GlaxoSmithKline. The $3 billion settlement included $1.5 billion in penalties under the False Claims Act. Cases against drugmakers like GSK were instrumental in reaching this record number, the DOJ said.

“Fraud against the government is not just a problem that affects us as taxpayers. It is a problem that affects us as parents and as patients,” Stuart Delery, head of the DOJ’s civil division, said in a statement.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


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