America’s taxpayers are in a long-term battle against powerful and well-funded corporate cheats and thieves.
Fraud is a core part of some company business plans, and incentivized integrity programs are a threat to their bottom line.
Opposition to federal and state False Claims Acts is entrenched. The liars are cunning and powerful.
Above all, they are patient.
For more than 25 years TAF and the TAF Education Fund have successfully promoted whistleblower laws and outreach.
As a result, the False Claims Act has survived attacks in Congress and at the Supreme Court. We have worked to amend and strengthen the law. We have worked to expand the False Claims Act to the states, and we have sparked the creation of new incentivized whistleblower legislation targeting tax fraud, securities fraud, and commodities trading fraud.
But corporate lobbyists still prowl Capitol Hill.
Apologists for fraud push and probe for weaknesses.
They suggest capping whistleblower awards, knowing such a move will remove incentives to bring large cases.
Eager to cap integrity, they are little less eager to put a cap on fraud!
Exclude officers and managers in fraud cases when scores of millions, and even billions of dollars have been stolen from the American people? They are opposed to that!
Require a salary cap for the CEOs of fraudster corporations as a condition of settlement? Let’s not be too hasty!
Increase staffing within DoJ’s Civil Division so that cases can be moved forward more expeditiously? They will never suggest it.
And why would they? Fraud against America’s taxpayers is big business. In fact, stealing money from the U.S. Treasury is so profitable that some fraudster companies now have lawyers on permanent retainer in Washington with the sole mission of undermining incentivized integrity programs.
The good news is the TAF Education Fund need only tell stories of success to show the power of current law.
Or, as Attorney General Eric Holder put it when asked about the Chamber of Commerce’s attempts to cap whistleblower awards:
“The Act has presently constructed, is working extremely, extremely well.… In the past 25 years, we have had nearly 8,000 qui tam cases filed, and they have yielded more than $21 billion in recoveries for the United States, $3.4 billion in recoveries to relators. In Fiscal Year 2011 alone, the Department recovered more than $2.7 billion in qui tam cases, and relators received about $530 million dollars as their statutory share.
The statute as it is presently constructed works, and works quite well.
I would be reluctant to fool around with a formula that for the past 25 year has been shown to be an effective tool in getting at fraud and incentivizing people to stay involved in the process, and working with government as partners.”
Three years and $15 billion additional dollars later, we couldn’t say it better ourselves.