PA Student Loan Agency Seeks Supreme Court Ruling on Government Immunity from FCA Claims

Pennsylvania’s student loan agency—the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)—filed a petition for certiorari on February 16, seeking U.S. Supreme Court’s review of whether the Agency has government immunity from the False Claims Act (FCA).  In short, the PHEAA petition argues that Pennsylvania law “uniformly and unambiguously” treats the Agency as “an arm” of the state government, and that “[s]ince its creation in 1963, the [PHEAA] has occupied an inherently sovereign role as a ‘government’ instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”  Therefore, according to the PHEAA, the Fourth Circuit erred in finding that the Agency was not immune from the relator’s FCA allegations in U.S. ex. rel. Oberg v. Pennsylvania Higher Education, Case No. 15-1093.