Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions
7/16/2019

§ 8.01-216.3. False claims; civil penalty.

A. Any person who:

1. Knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;

2. Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;

3. Conspires to commit a violation of subdivision 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, or 7;

4. Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the Commonwealth and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less than all such money or property;

5. Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the Commonwealth and, intending to defraud the Commonwealth, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;

6. Knowingly buys or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the Commonwealth who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or

7. Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Commonwealth or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Commonwealth;

shall be liable to the Commonwealth for a civil penalty of not less than $10,957 and not more than $21,916, except that these lower and upper limits on liability shall automatically be adjusted to equal the amounts allowed under the Federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., as amended, as such penalties in the Federal False Claims Act are adjusted for inflation by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended (28 U.S.C. § 2461 Note, P.L. 101-410), plus three times the amount of damages sustained by the Commonwealth.

A person violating this section shall be liable to the Commonwealth for reasonable attorney fees and costs of a civil action brought to recover any such penalties or damages. All such fees and costs shall be paid to the Attorney General's Office by the defendant and shall not be included in any damages or civil penalties recovered in a civil action based on a violation of this section.

B. If the court finds that (i) the person committing the violation of this section furnished officials of the Commonwealth responsible for investigating false claims violations with all information known to the person about the violation within 30 days after the date on which the defendant first obtained the information; (ii) such person fully cooperated with any Commonwealth investigation of such violation; (iii) at the time such person furnished the Commonwealth with the information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced with respect to such violation; and (iv) the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into such violation, the court may assess not less than two times the amount of damages that the Commonwealth sustains because of the act of that person. A person violating this section shall also be liable to the Commonwealth for the costs of a civil action brought to recover any such penalty or damages.

C. For purposes of this section, the terms "knowing" and "knowingly" mean that a person, with respect to information, (i) has actual knowledge of the information; (ii) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or (iii) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information and require no proof of specific intent to defraud.

D. This section shall not apply to claims, records or statements relating to state or local taxes.

2002, c. 842; 2004, c. 589; 2007, c. 569; 2011, c. 676; 2018, c. 624.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.