False Claims Act & FIRREA
BuckleySandler has unparalleled experience handling matters for financial institutions under the False Claims Act (FCA), the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), and the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act (PFCRA). BuckleySandler represents clients in every major civil fraud initiative, and has experience handling investigations led by Main Justice and other U.S. Attorneys Offices involved in FCA and FIRREA enforcement, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. BuckleySandler attorneys are also experienced handling cases pursued by the government under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act (PFCRA). Our experience in False Claims Act matters extends beyond the financial services industry as well, having handled FCA and qui tam matters in health care, defense contracting, and other industries.
Over the past year, BuckleySandler has represented 25 different clients in more than 40 False Claims Act and FIRREA investigations by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Offices, and federal agency offices of inspectors general, including the Offices of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
- We represent several top mortgage lenders in responding to Civil Investigative Demands issued by the Department of Justice and HUD-OIG in connection with mortgage loan origination and quality control practices regarding FHA-insured loans.
- We successfully resolved a False Claims Act investigation into FHA lending on behalf of U.S. Bank National Association, reaching an agreement with the Justice Department that included no admission of liability, no administrative sanction, no prospective relief, and a settlement payment that was the lowest amount paid by any FHA lender resolving comparable claims in the previous two years.
- We represent a number of mortgage lenders in connection with False Claims Act/FIRREA investigations by the Department of Justice and FHFA OIG into loan origination practices and loan sales to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- We successfully represented a national financial services firm in a False Claims Act qui tam investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, in which the government declined to intervene in the case and the case was dismissed.
- We represent multiple mortgage lenders in connection with investigations by the FHFA-OIG, including in connection with the OIG’s Civil Fraud Initiative.
- We represent several top 20 banks in responding to FIRREA subpoenas issued by the Department of Justice in connection with its “Operation Choke Point” investigation into third-party payment processing.
- We represent multiple top mortgage loan servicers in responding to FIRREA subpoenas issued by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in connection with an investigation into foreclosure law firm expenses.
- We successfully persuaded the Department of Justice, following an investigation, to decline intervention in a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit alleging violations of FHA servicing and loss mitigation requirements.
- We successfully represented numerous clients in federal and state False Claims Act qui tam actions, obtaining dismissals after motion practice.
BuckleySandler’s False Claims Act and FIRREA practice attorneys are on the leading edge of FCA and FIRREA trends and developments affecting the financial services industry. Our partner Andrew W. Schilling is the former Chief of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). In that role, he established and led the SDNY’s Civil Frauds Unit, which launched the first wave of False Claims Act and FIRREA investigations and litigations against financial services companies. The Firm’s attorneys are prolific writers on FCA and FIRREA developments, recently publishing about a dozen articles, which are available at the links below.
The depth and breadth of our FCA and FIRREA experience allows us to help our clients not only respond to subpoenas and Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) but also to minimize the risk of exposure to such matters before they are initiated by the government, including through proactive initiatives designed to identify compliance risk areas and take corrective action prior to any action or investigation by DOJ, HUD, or other agency OIGs. In both compliance initiatives and in our defense of investigations and enforcement actions, our FCA and FIRREA attorneys work in close collaboration with BuckleySandler’s expert regulatory attorneys, who are steeped in the banking and mortgage regulatory compliance issues underlying these investigations. The powerful combination of industry expertise and substantive FCA, FIRREA, and PFCRA experience uniquely positions us to navigate on behalf of our clients the intricacies involved in the recent financial civil fraud enforcement initiatives.
Our proactive initiatives also include assisting clients throughout the lifecycle of government agency audits, including preparing responses to HUD and GSE audit reports, reviewing and revising compliance documentation, conducting risk assessments, overseeing loan file reviews, and assisting with annual recertification processes.
Our work helping clients minimize the risk of False Claims Act and FIRREA exposure includes conducting internal investigations into the allegations of whistleblowers. In our experience, the proper handling of internal whistleblower complaints is critical to effective risk management.
Our False Claims Act experience also encompasses defending clients in qui tam litigation in both federal courts and in state courts, including cases brought under the state False Claims Act statutes.
Finally, our False Claims Act experience and expertise extends beyond the financial services industry. BuckleySandler attorneys have extensive experience handling False Claims Act investigations and cases in health care fraud matters, as well as in government contracting and other industries in which clients deal regularly with the federal government.