Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

False Claims Act penalties are going up and Vermont is looking back

Whistleblower Award

Whistleblower AwardEarlier this month the Railroad Retirement Board announced in the May 2nd Federal Register that the statutory penalties associated with False Claims Act cases would be going way up.  The underlying legislation spurring the increase is the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

Pursuant to the Act, the new, post-adjustment minimum penalty for a False Claims Act violation is $10,781.40, which is the result of multiplying the current minimum penalty of $5,000 by 2.15628 and the new, post-adjustment maximum penalty is $21,562.80, which is the result of multiplying the current maximum penalty of $10,000 by the same 2.15628.

These large increases will be adjusted annually in January so each year, the cost of violating the False Claims Act could go up. The initial increases become effective for claims that are made on or after August 1, 2016.

VermontUnfortunately, the increases aren’t retroactive. However, on that topic, the Vermont False Claims Act just became retroactive via legislative inaction. Vermont’s False Claims Act was put into effect a little more than a year ago and it included a provision that it would not be retroactive until March 15, 2016, at which point the statute would be deemed to have retroactive application absent a legislative amendment to the contrary.

Well, no legislative action was undertaken so now the Vermont False Claims Act found at 32 V.S.A. § 639 can look back to cover false claims during applicable limitations provisions under Vermont law.

Both of these developments are good news for taxpayers who can now protect a greater taxpayer demographic and potentially recover much larger penalties from entities that are being paid by the government as a result of false claims.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

 

False Claims Act coming soon to Vermont

2000px-Flag_of_Vermont.svgVermont Governor Peter Shumlin will soon have the opportunity to sign into law the state’s first False Claims Act.  The House voted Wednesday to approve the Senate version of H.120, which is modeled after the federal law.

This is an important step for taxpayers in Vermont who will finally have a vehicle with which to recover money that has been stolen from the state.  Read More…

 

Vermont Introducing Legislation to Add State False Claims Act

MONTPELIER — At the suggestion of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, Senate lawmakers will introduce false claims legislation next week targeted at preventing fraud in the state’s health care system.

“As we’re moving to a world where the state’s role in health care is greatly expanded, ensuring that Vermont has the tools to protect its money from waste fraud and abuse is critically important,” said John Treadwell, chief of the criminal division in the Attorney General’s Office.

Vermont’s planned universal health care program would make state government the primary payer of nearly all medical claims, hence the aphorism single-payer.

The legislation will mimic the federal False Claims Act, which dates back to the Civil War and was designed to punish unscrupulous vendors for selling the Union faulty weapons or other equipment.

Passing a Vermont false claims act targeted at fraud in the health care system, specifically Medicaid – which receives federal matching dollars but is a large expense to the state – will have immediate benefits, Treadwell said.

If states pass their own federally compliant false claims acts, they can keep a larger percentage of the money recovered from resulting lawsuits and settlements.

Click here to read more in the Brattleboro Reformer.