DOJ nearly doubles False Claims Act penalties

Penalties under the False Claims Act presently range from $5,500 to $11,000 per claim. However, those amounts will nearly double Aug. 1.

Signed into law by President Barack Obama last November, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 requires federal agencies to increase civil monetary penalties awardable under the False Claims Act. One of the law's provisions includes a "catch up adjustment," which requires agencies to update penalties to account for inflation. The initial adjustment would be implemented through interim final rulemaking, like that recently promulgated by the Department of Justice.

On June 30, the DOJ published an interim final rule, raising the penalties authorized under the False Claims Act to a range of $10,781 to $21,563. The increased penalties will apply to violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. 

According to the National Law Review, False Claims Act penalties have not been adjusted for inflation since 1996.

The DOJ's adjustment has been expected since May, when the Railroad Retirement Board published its increased False Claims Act penalties in accordance with the Bipartisan Budget Act.

Public comments on the DOJ's interim final rule must be submitted by Aug. 29.

More articles on the False Claims Act:

Supreme Court issues key decision on False Claims Act liability: 9 things to know
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