SCOTUS Will Determine Fate of Legal Falsity Under the FCA

k9263134By Miriam Swedlow

A core purpose of the Federal Claims Act (FCA) is to discourage and prevent the submission of fraudulent claims to the government. The statute imposes treble damages, civil penalties, and attorneys fees for “knowingly” submitting a “false . . . claim for payment or approval.” The Act further discourages violation by permitting private relators a portion of the damages awarded in a successful action.

The Supreme Court may halt the expanding scope of FCA liability as it considers what counts as “false” under the FCA. The Court granted Certiorari for one of two petitions asking to settle a circuit split over whether an implied certification of compliance is actionable under the FCA, 31 U.S.C. §3729. A wide range of industries will likely watch the Court’s decision because it impacts any person or corporation that contracts with the federal government. This includes defense industry contractors, banks, telecommunication companies, health-care providers, and hospitals. Continue reading