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As National Whistleblower Day approaches, a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), introduced the False Claims Amendments Act of 2023 to beef up the government’s most potent tool to fight fraud. The bill ensures those who knowingly defraud the government cannot escape liability in cases where the government has made recurring payments on a fraudulent claim. The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

The False Claims Act continues to be the single greatest tool in the fight against fraud, returning $72 billion to the taxpayer since my update to the statute in 1986. Unfortunately, flawed court interpretations have created loopholes for fraudsters to avoid accountability even when their fraud is obvious and undisputed. Taxpayers deserve better than this sort of legal gymnastics. Our bipartisan bill clarifies our original intent to hold those accountable when they bilk the taxpayer,” Grassley said.

‘We must ensure that our government uses taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently. This bill would do just that by strengthening the False Claims Act – a tool used by the federal government to fight fraud and recoup lost taxpayer dollars. I’m thankful for this bipartisan cooperation to help fight fraud, waste, and abuse, and I’ll work to help this bill move swiftly through the Senate,’ Durbin said.

The False Claims Act empowers the government – often with the help of whistleblowers – to recover taxpayer dollars lost to fraud from entities that defraud the government. The U.S. Supreme Court flawed ruling in United Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar has resulted in entities claiming that their obvious fraud was not material simply because the government continued payment.

The False Claims Amendments Act of 2023 makes clear that the government’s continued payment on a fraudulent claim is not dispositive evidence that the fraud was not material if the government shows other reasons exist for the payment. It also clarifies that the False Claims Act’s whistleblower anti-retaliation provision applies to post-employment retaliation, and requires a GAO study on the benefits and challenges of enforcement efforts and amounts recovered under the False Claims Act.

Taxpayers Against Fraud applauds Senator Grassley’s continued strong support of the False Claims Act,” said Taxpayers Against Fraud President & CEO Jeb White. “The Senator is a consistent champion of Lincoln’s Law, which saves taxpayers billions of dollars every year. Regularly updating and modernizing the law ensures our federal anti-fraud statutes can meet the challenges created by today’s fraudsters who seek to steal and misuse taxpayer funds. We appreciate Senator Grassley’s tenacious leadership and look forward to full congressional passage of this bipartisan legislation.”

In 1986, Grassley led the successful effort to update the False Claims Act, which allows the government to recover taxpayer dollars from entities that defrauded federal agencies. A key provision in that update, known as qui tam, allows whistleblowers to bring suits against alleged fraudsters on behalf of the government and share in any recoveries. That provision is credited with more than two-thirds of all False Claims Act recoveries since 1987.

In February, the Justice Department announced the successful recovery of over $2.2 billion through False Claims Act cases that would have otherwise been lost to fraud in FY2022. More $1.9 billion of those claims were recovered through Grassley’s qui tam provision. A total of more than $72 billion in taxpayer money has been recovered since the 1986 update to the law.