False Claims Act

An individual may bring a civil action in superior court for a violation of the MA False Claims Act on behalf of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof. In a successful qui tam case, the whistleblower is entitled to between 15-30% of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action, plus reasonable expenses, attorney’s fees, and costs of the case.

Whistleblowers reporting fraud against the Commonwealth are protected against retaliation under the statute.

The Massachusetts False Claims Act - M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 5A-5O – provides liability for any person who:

(1) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;

(2) knowingly makes, uses or causes to be made or used a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;

(3) conspires to commit a violation of this subsection;

(4) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a claim that-includes items or services resulting from a violation of section 1128B of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b, or section 41 of chapter 118E;

(5) has possession, custody or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, to the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof less than all of that property or money;

(6) is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof and, with the intent of defrauding the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;

(7) knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, who may not lawfully sell or pledge such property;

(8) enters into an agreement, contract or understanding with an official of the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof knowing the information contained therein is false;

(9) knowingly makes, uses or causes to be made or used a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or to transmit money or property to the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof; or

(10) is a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim to the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, or is a beneficiary of an overpayment from the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, and who subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim or the receipt of overpayment and fails to disclose the false claim or receipt of overpayment to the commonwealth or a political subdivision by the later of:

  • (i) the date which is 60 days after the date on which the false claim or receipt of overpayment was identified; or
  • (ii) the date any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable.

Violators of the MA False Claims Act shall be liable to the Commonwealth or political subdivision for a civil penalty of $5,500 - $11,000 per violation, plus 3 times the amount of damages that the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof sustains because of such violation.

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