Moore & Co., P A v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC

Under the South Pacific Tuna Treaty (SPTT), a limited number of licenses to fish the waters of the Pacific Island nations are available to vessels under the control and command of U.S. citizens. Moore, a law firm, filed suit under the False Claims Act against Korean nationals and LLCs, alleging that the LLCs acquired two SPTT licenses by fraudulently certifying to the U.S. government that they were controlled by U.S. citizens and that their fishing vessels were commanded by U.S. captains. Moore first learned of this alleged fraud through discovery in a wrongful death action that it litigated in federal court against two of the defendants. The district court dismissed, citing the FCA’s public disclosure bar and its “original source” exception, particularly the 2010 amendments to those provisions. The Third Circuit reversed, finding that the alleged fraud was disclosed through any of the qualifying public disclosure sources, but that Moore has materially added to those public disclosures by contributing details of the alleged fraud that it independently uncovered through discovery in the wrongful death action in federal court. The court noted that the public disclosure bar is no longer jurisdictional. View "Moore & Co., P A v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC" on Justia Law