Senator Leahy Comments on Record-Breaking Fraud Enforcement Penalties in 2014

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Judiciary Committee Chairman, reported that the Department of Justice recovered a record-breaking $24 billion under the False Claims Act in 2014 for civil and criminal penalties. The majority of the penalties were related to the financial crisis that started in 2014 and included financial institutions such as Citibank and JP Morgan. In 2009, Senator Leahy authored a law, Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act, which aids federal prosecutors in going after those who commit financial fraud by strengthening tools and increasing resources for prosecution. A bipartisan bill coauthored by Senator Leahy and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Fighting Fraud to Protect Taxpayers Act, was overwhelmingly supported by Congress. The bill would reinvest some of the money collected, at no expense to the taxpayers, from fraud cases back into the law enforcement of fraud.

Senator Leahy stated, “This is a win for taxpayers, for law enforcement, and for accountability. The Justice Department should be commended for its record-breaking recovery of nearly $24 billion in civil and criminal penalties for fraud against the government and the American people, and particularly those families who suffered financial hardship as a result of the 2008 economic crisis. Many of these cases were brought under the Whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act – a critical tool I have long supported which fights waste, fraud and abuse.”

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