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New York False Claims Act

In 2007, the State of New York adopted the New York False Claims Act ("New York FCA"), its own version of the federal False Claims Act ("FCA"). A person or entity may be held liable under the New York FCA for false claims submitted to New York state or local governments. Further, the Act allows private individuals who know about fraud against New York State to bring a qui tam case against the offending party on behalf of the State. Notably, the New York FCA allows whistleblowers to bring an action for tax fraud.

Like the federal FCA, the New York FCA offers financial rewards to whistleblowers for bringing an action on behalf of the State. If the State decides to intervene in a case, the whistleblower may receive 15-25% of the recovery. If the State does not intervene and the whistleblower pursues the case on their own, they may receive 25-30% of the recovery.

New York FCA and Federal FCA Similarities

Several key provisions of the New York FCA mirror the federal FCA, such as:

  • Liability attaches under the New York FCA for, among other violations: knowingly submitting a false claim for payment to the State, knowingly making or using a false record or statement material to a false claim, conspiring to do either of these actions, or creating or using a false record material to an obligation to repay the State.
  • A private citizen who knows about fraud against the State of New York can bring a claim on behalf of the State. If the New York State Attorney General decides not to pursue the case, the relator has the right to proceed with the litigation.
  • Once an action is brought under the New York FCA, it remains under seal for at least 60 days (the State can petition to have the action remain under seal for longer than 60 days).
  • Employers are prohibited from retaliating against whistleblower employees. Retaliation includes firing, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing the employee. If the employer does retaliate, the employee is entitled to the reinstatement of their position, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any damages sustained because of the discrimination.

New York FCA and Federal FCA Differences

While the New York FCA and the federal FCA have numerous similarities, they also have some differences:

  • The New York FCA has a more liberal statute of limitations period than the federal FCA. Under the New York FCA, a ten year statute of limitations applies to all claims. That is, an action cannot be brought more than ten years after the date of the violation, whereas the federal FCA has a six year statute of limitations (and only a ten year period under certain circumstances).
  • Unlike the federal FCA, the New York FCA covers tax law violations, including the submission of a fraudulent return, as long as the perpetrator earns over $1 million per year and the harm to the State exceeds $350,000.

New York City False Claims Act

Additionally, New York City also has its own false claims act. Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the New York City False Claims Act in 2005, allowing citizens to bring lawsuits to recover damages for fraudulent claims submitted to the City.

Previous New York False Claims Act Cases

The New York State Attorney General's Office has prosecuted numerous qui tam cases, recovering funds for both the state government and New York taxpayers:

  • My Pillow Inc.: In August 2016, pillow company My Pillow Inc. agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve a whistleblower suit alleging the company knowingly failed to collect state and local taxes, violating the New York False Claims Act.
  • St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center: Also in August 2016, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a whistleblower suit accusing the health center of violating the New York and federal False Claims Acts by billing Medicaid for mental health services provided by unqualified staff.

For more information on the New York False Claims Act or to speak with an attorney, please contact Joy Clairmont at jclairmont@bm.net or 215-875-5803. To read more about what whistleblower clients can expect from our lawyers, click here.

One last thing…

For more than a decade, the Berger & Montague, P.C. Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Practice Group has represented whistleblowers in matters involving healthcare fraud, defense contracting fraud, IRS fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud. While the information on this blog is not legal advice, we would be more than happy to speak with you directly about your potential case. Any information you share with us will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality, and we will protect you every step of the way.

 

Do you need a Whistleblower Lawyer or want to know more information about Qui Tam Law and your rights under the False Claims Act?

There are three easy ways to contact our firm:

  1. Use the contact form on this page ("Inquire About Your Potential Case")
  2. Email info@bm.net
  3. Call 888-647-9292

Your information will remain confidential and we will work to protect your rights.

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