United States ex rel. Adams v. Aurora Loan Servs., No. 14-15031 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Relators filed suit under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729(b)(2)(A), against various lenders and loan servicers, alleging that defendants certified that loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were free and clear of certain home owner association liens and charges when they were not. At issue was whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are officers, employees, or agents of the federal government for purposes of the Act. The court concluded that the district court properly held that a claim presented to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is not presented to an “officer, employee or agent” of the United States. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private companies, albeit companies sponsored or chartered by the federal government. The court's prior decision in Rust v. Johnson, where it held that Fannie Mae was a federal instrumentality for state/city tax purposes, does not change the result, because Rust does not address Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’s status under the False Claims Act. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.