The False Claims Act

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2020 | White Collar Crimes |

The False Claims Act was enacted to protect the federal government against financial loss due to fraud perpetrated against them by individuals and businesses. Fraud in this sense deals with federal money or property that is associated with a specific rule or regulation and that violation of that rule or regulation. It is considered a civil fraud.

According to the Department of Justice, violations occur under the False Claims Act when a person or entity makes a false claim statement or record to the federal government. For example, a contractor could submit hours worked for a time period where they did not use those hours. That would be a false claim to the government. The elements to prove the violations of the FCA include the claim and a false claim. Next is to determine the materiality. This is determined by what the government could have paid this claim had it known the false nature of the claim.

Then it goes to the intent of the person or entity who submitted this false claim. According to the Legal Information Institute, it is not just actual knowledge of the false claim. There are other elements, including deliberate ignorance and reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the statement made. Then it comes to the causation. It is not just the person making the false statements but anybody who caused the false statements to be made to the government.

The government can pursue damages for violating the False Claims Act, not only in the single amount of damages collected based on the actual false claim, but they can double that damages. They also have six years to pursue these damages. That is why a forensic accountant is imperative to be involved in the calculation of the single damages for false claims that case to make sure it is as accurate as possible.


FindLaw Network