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Senator Kamala Harris Successfully Used Whistleblower Law to Hold Fraudsters Accountable When Serving as California Attorney General

Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris has the strongest record of any Presidential or Vice Presidential nominee in history of using the False Claims Act to fight fraud against the government.

While serving as Attorney General of the State of California, Harris successfully litigated the “largest recovery in the history of the [California] False Claims Act,” collecting $241 million in sanctions against Quest Diagnostics. Whistleblowers had exposed that Quest had made “illegal overcharges” in California’s “medical program for the poor.” In announcing the settlement, then-Attorney General Harris explained that the whistleblower case had targeted those who “illicitly” “lined private pockets” at the expense of a state medical program designed to “help the state’s neediest families.” Harris warned that fraudsters who “who try to cheat the state through false claims and illegal kickbacks should know that [Harris’] office is watching and will prosecute.”

The whistleblowers, in that case, obtained a reward of over $69 million.

Other whistleblower qui tam False Claims Act cases initiated or settled by Harris while she was Attorney General include:

$23,585,849 settlement with McKesson Corporation

$168.5 Million Settlement with K12 Inc.

$46 Million Settlement with GlaxoSmithKline

$52 Million Settlement with Abbott Laboratories

Stephen M. Kohn, a partner in the whistleblower law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto who also serves pro bono as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblower Center issued the following statement:

“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.”

Copyright Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP 2020. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 225

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Mary Jane Wilmoth whistleblower protection Qui Tam/False Claims Attorney Kohn Kohn & Colapinto Law Firm
Managing Partner

Mary Jane Wilmoth is the firm’s managing partner, and works closely with the partners at KKC, specializing in environmental and nuclear whistleblower protection, Qui Tam/False Claims litigation, and labor and employment law. She joined the firm in 1992, and works on cases and hearings that involve complex nuclear and environmental regulations. In her efforts to assure such safeguards are upheld in the American workplace, she has helped to strengthen whistleblower rights in licensing and enforcement proceedings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has also defended whistleblowers at...

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