Types of Fraud

Since its enactment in 1863 to combat fraudulent sales of low quality military goods to the government during the Civil War, the False Claims Act has prohibited a wide variety of activity involving false claims for government funds and has led to the recovery of billions of dollars in government funds.  Recent legislative amendments to the False Claims Act and the expansive growth of the federal government have both contributed to the increased applicability of the False Claims Act in recent years. Enforcement of the False Claims Act is only expected to grow in light of recent increases in government programs and spending, particularly in the health care market and mortgage and financial services industry.

The False Claims Act, codified at 31 U.S.C. § 3729, defines a false claim as “any request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property.”  Submission of a false claim in violation of the statute may occur either directly or indirectly and may occur through actions other than explicit submission of a false claim.  For example, a pharmaceutical company may be liable for causing a doctor to seek Medicare reimbursement for a drug marketed to the doctor for off-label medical purposes. Thus, by statutory design, the False Claims Act encapsulates a broad range of activity engaged in by private individuals or organizations involving government funds.

Indeed, enforcement of the False Claims Act has touched nearly every area of business and industry in the United States from health care providers and pharmaceutical companies to mortgage companies and home loan servicers.  The following types of fraud are common examples of situations in which a False Claims Act violation may arise, though by no means represents all types of fraud covered by the broad provisions of the False Claims Act.

Pharmaceutical Fraud

Healthcare Fraud

Defense Contracting Fraud

Government Contracting Fraud

Financial Fraud

Insured Loan Programs

Underpayment of Liabilities to Government

Other Types of Fraud


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