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Justice Dept. reports record false claims recoveries

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is reporting it has recovered nearly $9 billion in fraud against the government since the beginning of the Obama administration, a record three-year total.

The $3 billion recovered this year included an unprecedented $2.8 billion raised after whistle blowers filed lawsuits for false claims for government money or property such as Medicare benefits, military contracts and federal subsidies and loans.

Reporting of false claims increased after Congress amended the False Claims Act 25 years ago to increase incentives for whistle blowers to 15 to 30 percent of funds recovered from lawsuits they file on behalf of the government.

Assistant Attorney General Tony West noted Monday that 28 percent of the more than $30 billion in recoveries since then have come since President Barack Obama took office.