The Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida represents the United States in a broad array of defensive and affirmative civil lawsuits arising primarily in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. AUSAs in the Civil Division also practice before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Florida state courts. The Civil Division consists of the General Litigation, Health Care Fraud/Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE), and Financial Litigation (FLU) Units.
The majority of the Civil Division's AUSAs handle general civil litigation. These AUSAs principally defend the United States in Title VII cases alleging discrimination in hiring and employment practices by agencies of the United States and defend the United States in tort actions brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act, such as medical malpractice, premises liability and automobile accidents. General Ligation AUSAs are also responsible for defending cases in a wide array of other subject areas, including the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, immigration, Constitutional torts, Social Security, subpoena enforcement, constitutional law, prisoners' rights, and condemnation.
Health Care Fraud/Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) Unit
The Health Care Fraud/ACE Unit investigates and litigates civil False Claims Act cases involving fraud on the United States and civil penalty actions involving a wide variety of federal programs. In many instances, AUSAs in the Health Care Fraud/ACE Unit use the federal Fraud Injunction Act to stop on-going mail, wire, bank or health care fraud and freeze assets obtained through fraudulent activity. Many of the cases handled by AUSAs in the Section were initiated by whistleblowers, who filed their complaints under seal. The government then investigates the allegations, and can elect to pursue the action. Recently, the USAO settled a pharmaceutical fraud case, which began as a whistleblower action, for over $126 million. In addition to pharmaceutical fraud, AUSAs in this Section investigate and prosecute kickback cases, as well as fraud cases involving medical quality of care issues and durable medical equipment.
AUSAs in the Civil Division also pursue civil rights actions under federal statutes such as the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Financial Litigation Unit (FLU)
The primary function of the Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) is to litigate and enforce the collection of criminal debts owed to the United States and third parties, including criminal restitution, fines, and penalties. FLU AUSAs also enforce civil debts owed to the United States, such as student loans. The AUSAs and support staff in FLU aggressively pursue all available collection avenues in order to effectively enforce criminal and civil judgments.