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False Claims Act
What is the False Claims Act?
The Federal Government and the State of Florida have enacted laws that make it a crime for any person to knowingly make a false record or file a false claim with the government for payment.
“Knowingly” includes having actual knowledge that a claim is false or acting with “reckless disregard” as to whether a claim is false.
Examples of conduct that violate the False Claims Act include submitting claims for services that were not rendered, medically necessary and/or upcoding.
Penalties for Violating the False Claims Act
There are significant criminal and civil penalties for violating the False Claims Act. Federal penalties can total three times of amount of the claim, plus fines of $5,500-$11,000 per claim. State laws include possible imprisonment, in addition to fines of $5,000-$10,000 per claim.
Protection Under the Law
Both the federal and state False Claims Acts protect whistleblowers from being discriminated, harassed, demoted or fired for reported suspected fraud.
The False Claims Act contains provisions that allow individuals that report and/or file a lawsuit concerning fraud involving government programs to receive a portion of the recovery received by the government.