2nd Circuit affirms dismissal of whistleblower lawsuit alleging FCA violations
On October 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed a district court order dismissing a whistleblower lawsuit alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA). The three-judge panel concluded that they did not need to “address the public disclosure bar because the [second amended complaint]… fails to state a claim for a violation of the FCA.” According to the panel, the plaintiff did not allege that the defendant knowingly made a misrepresentation material to the government’s decision and that “failure to adequately plead either of these requirements is fatal to a relator's claim."
The original whistleblower complaint, filed in 2014, alleged that the defendant covered losses on loans that it acquired by taking advantage of a shared loss agreement with the FDIC. The complaint also stated that the defendant knowingly reported write-downs on loans already paid off, sold, or irrelevant to the portfolio. The FDIC declined to intervene, and the case was dismissed. The plaintiff appealed and oral arguments were heard on October 12; however, the order found that the plaintiff failed to identify a false claim or false record and did not establish scienter or motive to commit fraud.