The Affirmative Civil Enforcement ("ACE") program at the U.S. Attorney's Office brings civil actions on behalf of the United States. Many ACE cases involve suits under the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.) against individuals or entities that defrauded the United States. Under the False Claims Act, the United States may recover treble damages and additional penalties from those who use false claims or statements to obtain money from the federal government. The ACE program investigates and pursues those who commit health care fraud, defense procurement fraud or who fraudulently obtained benefits under various federal programs. In recent years, the ACE program has pursued claims against individuals and entities who defrauded the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and variety of other federal agencies.
In addition to pursuing cases under the False Claims Act, the ACE program litigates a variety of other regulatory enforcement actions on behalf of the United States. For example, the ACE program has brought legal actions to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act, require compliance with OSHA inspection warrants, and require compliance with the Drug Enforcement Administration's regulatory requirements.
Civil rights enforcement is also an important part of the ACE program. In particular, our ACE program has a very vigorous program seeking to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Attorneys in the ACE program have pursued legal actions to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to fully enjoy their rights as citizens. The office has obtained settlement agreements to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals are provided with interpreters and other auxiliary aids and services when seeking medical care at hospitals, worked to ensure that businesses, such as theaters and restaurants, have appropriate parking and restrooms for individuals with mobility impairments, and have ensured that businesses do not discriminate against individuals who use service animals. In addition to ADA enforcement actions, the ACE Program has pursued other civil rights actions, including actions to enforce the Fair Housing Act.