New Jersey False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to report fraud and recover 15-30% of the proceeds in a successful qui tam action
A private person may bring a civil action on behalf of the State for a violation of the New Jersey False Claims Act. This is known as a qui tam action. In the case of a successful action, the whistleblower shall receive 15% – 30% of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim; plus an amount for reasonable attorney’s fees, expenses, and costs. The New Jersey FCA also protects whistleblowers against retaliation for reporting fraud and engaging in protected activity.
The New Jersey False Claims Act—2A:32C-1 to 2A:32C-18— imposes liability on any person who:
- Knowingly presents or causes to be presented to an employee, officer or agent of the State, or to any contractor, grantee, or other recipient of State funds, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
- 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 State;
- Conspires to defraud the State by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid by the State;
- Has possession, custody, or control of public property or money used or to be used by the State and knowingly delivers or causes to be delivered less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;
- Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used or to be used by the State and, intending to defraud the entity, makes or delivers a receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
- Knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from any person who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or
- 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 State.
Violators are liable to the State for a civil penalty of not less than and not more than the civil penalty allowed under the federal False Claims Act (currently $5,500-$11,000) for each false or fraudulent claim, plus three times the amount of damages which the State sustains.