A new federal statute that took effect last week, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, broadened the Civil War-era False Claims Act. (FERA did several other things, too. See White House "fact sheet" here.)
The False Claims Act in general authorizes private citizens to sue for the federal government. Suits aim to recover civil penalties and treble damages. The statute entitles whistleblowers to a share of the government's recovery.
You qui tam mavens out there already know about the False Claims Act. But you may not have studied the FERA sections that broaden the Act. For your convenience, Blawgletter offers the following to show most of the relevant False Claims Act amendments (additions in blue; deletions in blue
Sec. 3729. False claims
(A) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented,
to an officer or employee of the United States Government or a member of the Armed Forces of the United Statesa false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;(B 2) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to geta false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Government;(C 3) conspires to commit a violation of subparagraph (A), (B), (D), (E), (F), or (G) defraud the Government by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid;(D 4) has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the Government and , intending to defraud the Government or willfully to conceal the property,knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receiptthan all of that money or property;(E 5) is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the Government and, intending to defraud the Government, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;(F 6) knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the Government, or a member of the Armed Forces, who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or(G 7) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to to conceal, avoid, or decreasean obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligaion to pay or transmit money or property to the Government,
(A) the person committing the violation of this subsection furnished officials of the United States responsible for investigating false claims violations with all information known to such person about the violation within 30 days after the date on which the defendant first obtained the information;(C) at the time such person furnished the United States with the information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced under this title with respect to such violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into such violation;
(A) mean that a person, with respect to information—and(B) require no proof of specific intent to defraud
includesany request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property and whether or not the United States has title to the money or property, that–(i) whichis presented to an officer, employee, or agent of the United States; or(ii) is made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient, if the money or property is to be spent or used on the Government's behaf or to advance a Government program or interest and if United States Government–(I) provides any portion of the money or property which isrequested or demanded; ,or(II) if the Governmentwill reimburse such contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property which is requested or demanded .; and(B) does not include requests or demands for money or property that the Government has paid to an individual as compensation for Federal employment or as an income subsidy with no restrictions on that individual's use of the money or property;
Sec. 3731. False claims procedure
(2) more than 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the official of the United States charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances, but in no event more than 10 years after the date on which the violation is committed,whichever occurs last.