As a False Claims Act law firm, we are always interested to find out what people know about the law, a fundamental issue given the large role private citizens play in bring False Claims Act (“FCA” or “the Act”) lawsuits. One of the things we’ve learned is that even the people who are familiar with the law are surprised to learn the wide variety of contexts in which it can apply. Likewise, its many state counterparts are versatile tools for the fight against fraud.
Overview of the False Claims Act
The Legal Information Institute (“LII”) at Cornell University Law School explains that the FCA is a “[f]ederal statute setting criminal and civil penalties for falsely billing the government, over-representing the amount of a delivered product, or under-stating an obligation to the government.” Although not emphasized in the LII article, false claims only violate the Act if made knowingly, with deliberate ignorance, or willful disregard of the claim’s falsity (see The False Claims Act: A Primer published by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”)).