According to a recent National Law Review article, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has a strong history of using the False Claims Act to combat corruption.
While serving as California’s Attorney General, Harris initiated and settled several lawsuits brought under the state’s False Claims Act and also joined Federal False Claims Actions with other states.
The False Claims Act (FCA), enacted in 1863 in response to defense contractor fraud during the American Civil War, includes a provision that allows private citizens or whistleblowers to file qui tam lawsuits against those who have defrauded the government.
The National Law Review article, Kamala Harris’ Legacy of Protecting Taxpayers and Whistleblowers, reviews Harris’s most significant FCA cases. Among these cases are a $241 million settlement with Quest Diagnostics, a $168 million settlement with K12 Inc., a $46 million, a $52 million settlement with Abbott Laboratories, and a $23 million settlement with McKesson Corporation.
Whistleblower advocates have stepped forward to praise Harris for her dedication to fighting fraud. Stephen M. Kohn, an experienced FCA whistleblower attorney and co-founder of the National Whistleblower Center, issued the following statement on Harris’ successful record holding fraudsters accountable under the FCA:
“Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris has the strongest record of supporting qui tam whistleblowers of any major party candidate ever nominated for President or Vice President. Her experience successfully using America’s most powerful whistleblower law sets a positive example for any public official seeking higher office.
“Given the vital role whistleblowers play in detecting fraud, and the billions of dollars recovered by taxpayers in whistleblower qui tam cases filed under the False Claims Act, every candidate for public office should be questioned on their position on whistleblowing.
“As a candidate for high public office, Harris’ record on using the State of California’s False Claims Act to recover monies from fraudsters, pay rewards to whistleblowers, and protect law’s integrity is historic. It sets a bar for future candidates for public office to prove that they stand for protecting taxpayers from waste, fraud, and abuse.
“Whistleblowers have created an impressive record in protecting the public from fraud. This record includes recovering over $44 billion under the federal False Claims Act program, and additional billions collected under the SEC whistleblower program and the IRS whistleblower program. Every candidate for public office should be questioned about their position on whistleblowing and fully commit to protecting and expanding the current anti-fraud whistleblower laws.”