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False Claims Act Litigation: Fraud against the Government

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What Is the False Claims Act?

The False Claims Act provides the government with means of attacking fraud through an action for multiple damages and penalties. In addition, the Act supplements the government's efforts by authorizing and encouraging private citizens to initiate a civil action on the Government's behalf.

Is There Liability for Making a False Claim against the Government?

The False Claims Act imposes liability for defrauding the government by making false or fraudulent claims for money or property. The Act also imposes liability for retaliating against certain private individuals who assist or participate in the investigation and prosecution of cases under the Act.

What Types of Fraudulent Acts Fall Under the Act?

Liable acts under U.S. law come from U.S.C.A § 3729(A)(1)-(7). They are as follows:

  • (A)(1) - imposes liability on any person who 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 States a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval.
  • (A)(2) - imposes liability on any person who knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the government.
  • (A)(3) - imposes liability on any person who conspires to defraud the government by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid, but modernly is rarely used.
  • (A)(4) - imposes liability on any person who 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, delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt.
  • (A)(5) - imposes liability on any person who, authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the Government, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true, but it also is rarely used in court.
  • (A)(6) - imposes liability on any person who 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, but has not been used by the government since the Civil War.
  • (A)(7) - imposes liability on any person who knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the government.
  • Subsections 1, 2, 4, and 7- are the sections that the government and private citizens have focused on when prosecuting fraud claims against individuals under this act.

Should I Contact a Lawyer?

Fraud against the government claims are far more common than most people realize. When an individual faces such a claim it will be very important to contact a criminal defense lawyer. These claims are generally complicated, expensive, and carry heavy monetary fines and other penalties.

Photo of page author Adam Vukovic

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 04-14-2015 02:25 PM PDT

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