On June 8, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler testified before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law. During his prepared remarks, Readler discussed a number of topics, including national security, health and safety, various forms of financial fraud, and immigration actions. According to Readler, the Civil Division and U.S. Attorneys recovered $4.7 billion under the False Claims Act in 2016, bringing the total amount recovered under the statute up to $53.6 billion. He also noted that the government has recovered more than $2 billion from health care fraud over the last two years and more than $6.6 billion from banks and other financial institutions making false statements and claims in 2016.
Speaking specifically to health care fraud, Readler told the subcommittee that 2016 marked the seventh year in a row that the DOJ’s Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) recovered $2 billion or more from health care fraud actions, bring the total recover under the statute up to $34 billion since 1986. According to Readler, a substantial part of these recoveries come from the pharmaceutical industry. He pointed to specific cases, including a $350 million settlement from Shire Pharmaceuticals, a $623.2 million settlement from Olympus, and a $67 million settlement with Genentech Inc. and OSI Pharmaceuticals. He then pointed out that some of the largest recoveries from last year were from other sectors of the healthcare industry, including a $514 million payment from Tenet Healthcare, a major hospital chain, to resolve criminal and civil liability related to an alleged fraud scheme and a $145 million payment from Lifecare Centers of America to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.
When he turned to financial fraud, Readler discussed the Division’s efforts to target fraud that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, including the fraudulent approval of mortgages for people who could not afford them. According to Readler, the Division recovered almost $1.7 billion in a collective enforcement effort with its partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices last year, which is the second highest annual recovery in this area. He also noted that DOJ has continued its effort to enforce the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), especially in the context of mortgage-backed securities.