On May 29, 2009, Congress enacted the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 to expand the reach of the Civil False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3730, et. seq., and safeguard taxpayer funds. In doing so, Congress amended Section 3730(h) of the Civil False Claims Act (FCA), the anti-retaliation provision, to broaden protections for whistleblowers who alert their employers and/or the government about the misuse of taxpayer funds. Following these amendments, Congress sharpened the FCA’s enforcement teeth to not only recoup taxpayer money but also to further encourage the reporting of fraudulent conduct in an effort to help the government combat fraud and abuse in the administration of its programs.
The U.S. government is one of the world’s largest consumers and the single largest purchaser of goods and services within the United States. The FCA authorizes the government to recover monetary damages from parties who file fraudulent claims for payment when supplying it with goods or services. Actions under the FCA can be initiated either by the government or via a qui tam action. See 31 U.S.C. 3730(b)-(d); see also Mann v. Heckler & Koch Defense (4th Cir. 2010) (a qui tam action is brought by a private party “in the name of the United States”).
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