Vermont False Claims Act
A private person can bring a civil action for violations of the Vermont False Claims Act on behalf of the state of Vermont. In the event of a successful action, the whistleblower shall receive between 15% - 30% of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claim, in addition to an amount for reasonable expenses, attorney’s fees, and costs of the case. The Vermont FCA also protects whistleblowers against retaliation for engaging in protected activity.
Violations of the Vermont False Claims Act, 32 V.S.A. § 630-642, include:
- (1) knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
- (2) knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;
- (3) knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a claim that includes items or services resulting from a violation of 13 V.S.A. chapter 21 or section 1128B of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1320a-7b;
- (4) knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a claim that includes items or services for which the State could not receive payment from the federal government due to the operation of 42 U.S.C. § 1396b(s) because the claim includes designated health services (as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn(h)(6)) furnished to an individual on the basis of a referral that would result in the denial of payment under 42 U.S.C. chapter 7, subchapter XVIII (the "Medicare program"), due to a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn;
- (5) having possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the State, knowingly deliver, or cause to be delivered to the State or its agent, less than all of that property or money for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;
- (6) being authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the State or its agent and, intending to defraud the State, making or delivering the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
- (7) knowingly buying, or receiving as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the State, who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property;
- (8) entering into a written agreement or contract with an official of the State or its agent knowing the information contained therein is false;
- (9) knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the State;
- (10) knowingly concealing or knowingly and improperly avoiding or decreasing an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the State;
- (11) as a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim to the State, or as a beneficiary of an overpayment from the State, and who subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim or the receipt of overpayment, failing to disclose the false claim or receipt of overpayment to the State by the later of:
- (A) a date which is 120 days after the date on which the false claim or receipt of overpayment was identified; or
- (B) the date any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable; or
- (12) conspiring to commit a violation of this subsection.
Violators shall be liable to the State for a civil penalty of $5,500.00 - $11,000.00 for each violation; three times the amount of damages that the State sustains because of the act of that person; and the costs of the investigation and prosecution of such violation.