DOJ Increases FCA Civil Penalties – Again

Today, DOJ announced that already-onerous FCA civil penalties will be increasing again effective immediately. Pursuant to the 2015 budget bill which required annual re-indexing of FCA penalties for inflation (discussed here), the minimum per-claim penalty, which jumped last year from $5,500 to $10,781, increases to $10,957. The maximum per-claim penalty, which rose from $11,000 to $21,563 last year, increases to $21,916. The penalties will continue to be adjusted each year to reflect changes in the inflation rate.

These most recent increases apply to any FCA penalties assessed starting today for FCA violations that occurred on or after November 2, 2015. For violations that occurred prior to November 2, 2015, the $5,550-$11,000 penalty range still applies.

The DOJ rule can be found here. As we have discussed in prior posts, we believe these increases are ripe for challenge on Constitutional and other grounds in appropriate cases.