Pennsylvania Senate Introduces State False Claim Act
On October 8, 2009, the Pennsylvania Senate introduced a bill that would enact a Pennsylvania False Claims Act. Senate Bill 1113 would enable the Commonwealth to collect treble damages and a civil penalty of $5,000 to $10,000 per claim from anyone who submits, or causes another to submit, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania False Claims Act would empower Pennsylvania to protect taxpayer spending from fraud, waste and abuse. 25 States already have enacted similar State False Claims Acts. Pennsylvania is currently the largest State in the country without its own false claims act.
The Pennsylvania False Claims Act would be similar to the Federal False Claims Act, which has recovered over $25 Billion since 1986. The Pennsylvania False Claims Act would, like the Federal False Claims Act, allow whistleblowers (known as “qui tam relators”) to file lawsuits on behalf of taxpayers and share in any recovery that results from their exposing the fraud.
A copy of Senate Bill 1113 can be found on the Internet at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=1113&pn=1483
A similar bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly earlier this year, and can be found on the Internet at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1679&pn=2120