WASHINGTON (AP) – Attorney General Eric Holder says improvements in the Civil War-era False Claims Act designed to combat fraud against the government have led to recoveries for taxpayers of $8.8 billion in the past three years _ and $30 billion since the amendments were adopted a quarter of a century ago.
The law was strengthened in 1986 to provide treble damage awards to the government. The changes protect whistle-blowers with inside knowledge of fraud and provide them with an incentive to sue _ part of any money recovered.
In a 25th anniversary celebration at the Justice Department, Holder said whistle-blowers have filed nearly 8,000 actions _ including a record 638 in the past year alone.
Holder praised Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and California Rep. Howard Berman for helping pass the 1986 revisions.
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