Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986

At a panel on Thursday, June 3, 2010, the Deputy Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Michael Granston, announced that he expected Congress to enact changes to the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986.  Also known as the “mini False Claims Act,” the PFCRA enables the government to recover up to $150,000 in administrative proceedings and permit a person to be made to pay up to $5,000 per claim and double the amount falsely claimed.  It is reported that the PFCRA would reduce the Department of Justice’s False Claims Act caseload through use of this more streamlined administrative process, instead of the federal courts, where False Claims Act complaints often remained under seal for years.

Like the False Claims Act, the PFCRA establishes administrative procedures for executive agencies to use against anyone who makes a false claim or false statement to the agency which the person knows or has reason to know is false, fictitious, or fraudulent.  The PFCRA does not create any violations or change the manner in which agencies receive allegations of false claims or false statements.  It merely establishes an additional legal remedy, and its substantive provisions are similar to those under the False Claims Act.

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