State False Claims Acts

A majority of states (along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) have passed their own False Claims Act laws to combat fraud against their taxpayers. Most of these FCA statutes are structured similarly to the federal FCA and include qui tam provisions that allow whistleblowers to sue in the name of the state and receive a share of any recovery. Two states — Missouri and Arkansas — have FCAs that are not qui tam statutes; rather than filing a private action, a whistleblower in those states who provides information leading to a recovery for Medicaid fraud can receive a reward of up to 10%.

The map below shows states that have enacted an FCA law that provides for a whistleblower award of some sort — either through a qui tam provision or an award for information leading to a recovery.

Even among states that have FCAs, there is considerable variation. Some have passed FCAs that are even broader than the federal FCA; New York’s statute, for example, covers tax fraud. A number of states have limited their FCAs to Medicaid fraud, while others have separate FCA statutes for Medicaid fraud and for other types of fraud. Two states — California and Illinois — have passed anti-fraud laws that provide incentives for whistleblowers to report fraud against private insurers. A few states have limitations on who can be a whistleblower under their statutes.

Although we do our best to keep information on this site current, the status of state laws can change — for example, Wisconsin repealed its FCA in 2015 — so it is important to consult an attorney to determine whether there is a current state FCA that applies to your situation. Taxpayers Against Fraud, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting fraud against the government, is a helpful source of information on the status of FCA laws and their enforcement, including state FCAs.

In addition to states, a few municipalities have passed FCAs, including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, and Broward and Miami-Dade counties in Florida. As in the case of state FCAs, there is variation in the particulars of these laws and laws can change, so it is important to seek the advice of an attorney.

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