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What is a false claim under the False Claims Act?

 

The False Claims Act imposes civil liability on “any person who . . . knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval” or  “knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim” paid by the Government. 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(A) & (B).

The essential elements of an FCA claim are

  1. a false statement or fraudulent course of conduct,
  2. made or carried out with the requisite scienter,
  3. that was material, and
  4. caused the government to pay out money or forfeit moneys due.

In the recent Escobar decision, the Supreme Court held that a claim or statement is material if it has “a natural tendency to influence or be capable of influencing, the payment or receipt of money or property.” Further, the Court clarified the factors that are relevant to the materiality inquiry and that no single factor is dispositive.

 

false claims act whistleblowers

Jason Zuckerman, Principal of Zuckerman Law, litigates whistleblower retaliation, qui tam, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims. He is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015 and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® and in SuperLawyers.