FCA Suits Anticipated as COVID Criminal Cases Wrap Up
Big federal spending on dire events such as the 2008 financial crisis and natural disasters has usually resulted in the government later filing numerous civil fraud suits, and the trillions of dollars in pandemic relief may be no exception once the clearer cases of criminal fraud have been prosecuted.
The pandemic also introduced new contracting opportunities, and companies that had never previously worked with the government may not necessarily have fully grasped the specific requirements attached to government funding, such as domestic sourcing requirements, especially in an emergency situation with a rushed contracting process.
"You had companies that had nothing to do with health care who all of a sudden became a glove and gown and mask distributor or manufacturer," said Merle DeLancey, a partner at Blank Rome LLP who defends clients in FCA cases. "People just flocked [to those contracts] because the money was there."
DeLancey said he also worries that longtime, sophisticated federal contractors that had to work with limited guidance in a rapidly evolving emergency situation with differing instructions from various government agencies could face liabilities.
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"FCA Suits Anticipated as COVID Criminal Cases Wrap Up," by Daniel Wilson was published in Law360 on October 19, 2023.