The Act imposes liability against contractors and individuals for a number of activities: (1) submitting a claim the person knows contains false or fraudulent information; (2) to conspire with others to present a claim known to be false or fraudulent; (3) present a claim containing supporting documentation that is known to be false or fraudulent; (4) to buy property from a public agency from an officer or employee of the agency if the person knows the officer or employee is not authorized to sell the property; (5) to receive property of a public agency from a public officer or an employee as a pledge of an obligation or debt if the person knows the officer or employee is not authorized to pledge the property; and (6) to fail to disclose a false claim that benefits a person within reasonable time after discovering the false claim has been submitted for payment.
The Act generally requires that the contractor have knowledge of the false or fraudulent information. The knowledge of the contractor can be established if the contractor has actual knowledge, acts in deliberate ignorance of the false or fraudulent nature, or acts in reckless disregard of the false and fraudulent nature of the claim. The OFCA is particular troublesome for general contractors who pass through a subcontractors claim.
If the contractor violates the Act, the Attorney General of the State of
The Act also provides the Attorney General’s office with the broad powers of performing an investigation of whether a violation of the Act has occurred before a lawsuit is filed. The AG’s can initiate an investigation, require individuals to appear and testify under oath, issue written discovery requests, and require production of documents requested by the Attorney General’s office.
Contractors performing work in the State of