No. 10-2320.

681 F.3d 575 (2012)

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Jon H. OBERG, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. KENTUCKY HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENT LOAN CORPORATION; Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency; Vermont Student Assistance Corporation; Arkansas Student Loan Authority, Defendants-Appellees, and Nelnet, Inc.; SLM Corporation; Panhandle Plains Higher Education Authority; Education Loans Inc./SD; Southwest Student Services Corporation; Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation; Brazos Higher Education Authority, Inc.; Nelnet Education Loan Funding, Inc.; Panhandle-Plains Management and Servicing Corporation; Student Loan Finance Corporation; Brazos Group, Defendants.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Decided: June 18, 2012.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

ARGUED: Bert Walter Rein , Wiley Rein, LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellant. Daniel B. Huyett , Stevens & Lee, Reading, Pennsylvania; Thomas Leo Appler , Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP, McLean, Virginia; John Stone West , Troutman Sanders, LLP, Richmond, Virginia; N. Thomas Connally, III , Hogan Lovells US LLP, McLean, Virginia, for Appellees. ON BRIEF: Michael L. Sturm , Christopher M. Mills , Brendan J. Morrissey , Wiley Rein, LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellant. Rocklan W. King III , Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP, McLean, Virginia, for Appellee Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation; Mark E. Nagle , Troutman Sanders LLP, Washington, D.C., Megan C. Rahman , Troutman Sanders, LLP, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee Vermont Student Assistance Corporation; Thomas M. Trucksess , Hogan Lovells US LLP, McLean, Virginia, Dustin McDaniel , Arkansas Attorney General, Dennis R. Hansen , Deputy Attorney General, Mark N. Ohrenberger , Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Little Rock, Arkansas, for Appellee Arkansas Student Loan Authority; Craig A. Hirneisen , Stevens & Lee, Reading, Pennsylvania, Neil C. Schur , Stevens & Lee, PC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jill M. Dennis , Hunton & Williams LLP, McLean, Virginia , Joseph P. Esposito , Hunton & Williams LLP, Washington, D.C., Jason L. Swartley , Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for Appellee Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

Vacated and remanded by published opinion. Judge MOTZ wrote the opinion, in which Chief Judge TRAXLER and Judge KEENAN joined.



In this False Claims Act case, relator Dr. Jon Oberg, on behalf of the United States, brought a qui tam action alleging that appellees — corporations organized by four states, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Arkansas — defrauded the United States Department of Education. The district court granted appellees' motions to dismiss on the ground that they were "state agencies" and therefore...

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