Justice Department Collects Record Billions From Companies That Defrauded the Government

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The Justice Department has collected more than $31 billion under President Barack Obama’s administration from companies that defrauded the government, the department announced on Wednesday.

The total amount collected is more than the department has recovered from companies than under the past three administrations combined, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A large chunk of the money collected comes from health care fraud claims from January 2009 to the end of fiscal year 2016, according to the department. The department has recovered $19.3 billion in health care fraud claims since 2009. The largest recoveries over 2016—$1.2 billion—came from defrauding in the drug and medical device industry, including settlements from Wyeth and Pfizer Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

The Justice Department also collected more than $7 billion in housing and mortgage fraud claims between January 2009 to the end of fiscal year 2016, including settlements with Wells Fargo for $1.2 billion and Freedom Mortgage Corp. for $113 million after both companies admitted defrauding federal mortgage insurance programs.

The department collected more than $4.7 billion in fraud settlements through False Claims Act cases, most of which are filed under whistleblower provisions.

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