Wells Fargo Ruling Does Little To Deter Relator Misconduct

Law360, New York (January 14, 2015, 10:50 AM EST) -- For most litigants, getting hit with a $1.6 million court-ordered sanction would be considered a bad day. But we suspect that was not the reaction of the relators in United States ex rel. Bibby v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, No. 1:06-CV-0547-AT, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 636 (N.D. Ga. Jan. 5, 2015), who recently were on the receiving end of that sanction for having deliberately violated the False Claims Act's seal requirements. To the contrary, given the alternatives before the court — whether the dismissal advocated by Wells Fargo or the $2.7 million forfeiture proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice — these relators likely are breathing sighs of relief.[1]...

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