More Resources for U.S. Attorneys to Combat Civil Fraud

In an attempt to speed up civil fraud investigations in the U.S., Attorney General Eric Holder expanded the power of the False Claims Act by signing an order allowing U.S. Attorneys to issue civil investigative demands under the Act.

Civil investigative demand allows for a subpoena of documents, depositions and interrogatories. Currently the Justice Department can issue these investigative demands before it files a complaint or before signing on to qui tam litigation. This makes the information accessible before the potential defendant can conduct its own discovery.

Until this year, the Attorney General could exclusively approve civil investigative demands. Because of this limitation, they were not common. Last spring, however, an anti-fraud bill made its way through congress and subsequently established the practice of allowing the Attorney General to delegate the power to Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. In a further expansion, Attorney General Holder also allowed Assistant Attorney General Tony West to redelegatee such powers to U.S. Attorneys, with notice and reporting requirement.

Posted in Evidence, False Claims, Federal False Claims Act, Qui Tam LitigationNo Comments


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