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False Claims Act Statistics, News & Analysis

Litigation Update: Ninth Circuit to Weigh In on Key Post-Escobar Issues

We have reported previously on an implied false certification case in the Northern District of California, United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Institute, in which the court considered whether a university violated the FCA when it obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Education by allegedly falsely certifying compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The university moved to certify the district court’s order ruling against it on falsity and materiality for immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit, and as we reported here, the district court in October certified three of the university’s four proposed questions for interlocutory appeal and stayed the case pending resolution of the university’s appeal.

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Litigation Update: Rose District Court Recognizes Sanford-Brown Decision and Certifies Post-Escobar Questions for Interlocutory Appeal

We have been monitoring United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Institute, a post-Escobar implied false certification case in which the Northern District of California considered whether a university violated the FCA when it obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) by allegedly falsely certifying compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Relators allege in this non-intervened case that the university was providing incentive payments to student recruiters, which is a violation of Title IV. As we reported here, the court ruled against the university on both falsity and materiality and the university moved to certify the district court’s order for immediate appeal. Over the government’s objections in a statement of interest, the district court on October 28, 2016 certified three of the university’s four proposed questions for interlocutory appeal and stayed the case pending resolution of the university’s appeal.

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Litigation Update: U.S. Files Statement of Interest Arguing Against Immediate Appeal of Post-Escobar Materiality and Falsity Ruling in Rose

UPDATE: The Seventh Circuit recently issued one of the first appellate decisions applying the FCA’s materiality standard after Escobar, finding that the same incentive compensation ban at issue in Rose was not material. The university in Rose filed a notice with the district court on October 27, 2016 to notify the court of the decision. Read more in our post here.

We reported earlier this month on United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Institute, a post-Escobar implied false certification case in which a District Judge in the Northern District of California considered whether a university violated the FCA when it obtained funding from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) by allegedly falsely certifying compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act, which prohibits universities receiving federal funding from providing incentive payments to student recruiters. The court denied the university’s motion to reconsider denial of its motion for summary judgment in mid-September, and the university moved to certify the district court’s order for immediate interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit and to stay the case pending appeal.

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Court Finds Falsity and Materiality Post-Escobar; Defendant Seeks Immediate Appeal

Three months have passed since the Supreme Court decided the landmark Escobar case, and courts across the country are beginning to parse the opinion. On September 20, 2016, a U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of California denied a defendant’s motion to reconsider denial of its motion for summary judgment in what may be the most pro-government FCA decision after Escobar. We summarize the decision below, but a more in-depth analysis can be found here.

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