According to a press release issued today by the Department of Justice, 638 new whisteblower complaints under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act were filed under seal in fiscal year 2011, representing a peak in such filings over prior years.  The DOJ reports that it recovered more than $3 billion under the FCA in 2011, of which $2.8 billion was generated from qui tam actions.

As has been typical in recent years, FCA matters involving the health care and pharmaceutical industries were the largest source of recoveries in 2011. The DOJ recovered $2.4 billion in health care matters, of which $2.2 billion was obtained from pharmaceutical companies. 

Other sources of recoveries include consumer-related financial fraud cases and non-war related procurement cases, which accounted for nearly $358 million in FCA recoveries in 2011.  The DOJ also recovered $89.3 million under the FCA in connection with the wars in Southwest Asia in 2011.

Looking ahead, it is likely that federal FCA recoveries will be even larger in 2012.  One commentator has suggested that it is possible that FCA recoveries will reach $9 billion in 2012, due, in large part, to several possible settlements with pharmaceutical manufacturers hovering near, or exceeding, the billion dollar mark.