According to new figures from the Justice Department, around 78 per cent of the money recovered came from cases initiated by private citizens under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA), which authorizes individuals to file lawsuits on behalf of the US in cases where the government has been defrauded.
The department added that the latest round of recoveries bring the total settlements secured under the FCA since it was amended in 1986 to over $21 billion.
Cases in the 2008 fiscal year covered federally-funded programs such as Medicare, defense procurement contracts, disaster assistance loans and agricultural subsidies.
Gregory Katsas, assistant attorney general for the department's civil division, said: "Now, more than ever, it is crucial that taxpayer dollars aren't lost to fraud."
During the 2007 fiscal year, around $2 billion was recovered under the FCA, Bloomberg reports.