The False Claims Act
The New York False Claims Act, N.Y. Fin. Law §§ 187 - 194, allows the Attorney General, a local government, or any person to file a lawsuit against a person or a company that obtains or withholds funds or property from the state or local government through false or fraudulent conduct. A person or company found liable under the act must generally pay treble damages, civil penalties, plus costs and attorneys' fees.
The False Claims Act is an important new tool for people to help the state or local governments recover funds or property lost through fraud or corruption. Lawsuits filed by citizens — known as “qui tam” suits — are filed in secret to give the government an opportunity to investigate the allegations of fraud.
Individuals who file suits may be eligible to keep a percentage of the funds they help recover. The False Claims Act also protects employees from being retaliated against for filing qui tam suits against employers who may be engaged in activity or practices that defraud the government out of money or property.
However, please be advised that the Attorney General by law does not represent private individuals or provide legal advice, legal research or legal analysis to private individuals under any circumstances. The Attorney General's Office also cannot refer you to a private attorney. There are, however, private attorneys who specialize and have experience in bringing False Claims Act cases.
Parties may obtain additional information, or submit questions to:
Taxpayer Protection Bureau
Office of the New York State Attorney General
Department of Law
New York, NY 10271-0332