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False Claims Act 101: Keeping Fraudsters Away

By Edited May 25, 2014 0 0

In this present time where earning money is getting more and more difficult, people are looking for ways to pay their monthly dues. And sometimes, they even commit unlawful acts just to earn a living. Unfortunately, the Law does not tolerate such actions. The False Claims Act, which was enacted way back in 1863, is the federal law responsible for punishing people who intentionally file false claims with the U.S. government. It has the ancient legal term called "qui tam" which allows a complainant or "relator" to file a lawsuit against a fraudster in behalf of the United States.

Under the False Claims Act, a person is prohibited from:

  • Submitting a false claim – Any document that is not certified by authorized personnel is considered fraudulent.

  • Using a false or tampered record or document to file a claim

  • Possessing money that is owned by the United States – If an individual has something that belongs to the U.S. government, he must turn it over immediately.

  • Presenting a legal record with intent to deceive – Even if the document is certified, if there is still intent to deceive others, especially the government, it would still be illegal.

  • Purchasing of government or public properties – There are certain properties that should be used and enjoyed by the public.

  • Utilizing a false document to alter one's responsibility to transfer money to the United States – This often happens in tax returns and Social Security contributions.

  • Scheming to commit the actions given above – Even if a person did not commit the given actions, if he was involved in planning for these acts, he would still be penalized.

A person who would be proven to have filed a false claim would be punished accordingly. Under the law, the court may require a violator to pay $5,000 to $10,000, as well as the relator's legal fees. However, the penalties may still be reduced if the defendant would admit the crime and cooperate with investigators.

There are other means to earn money aside from submitting fraudulent documents and claims. It all starts within the person. An individual should just identify his skills, abilities, and what sort of things he wants to do. If he does not lose his determination, he would eventually be able to land a decent job for himself and his family.



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