2006 Code of Virginia § 8.01-216.3 - False claims; civil penalty

8.01-216.3. False claims; civil penalty.

A. Any person who:

1. Knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employeeof the Commonwealth a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;

2. Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record orstatement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by theCommonwealth;

3. Conspires to defraud the Commonwealth by getting a false or fraudulentclaim allowed or paid;

4. Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to beused, by the Commonwealth and, intending to defraud the Commonwealth orwillfully to conceal the property, delivers, or causes to be delivered, lessproperty than the amount for which the person receives a certificate orreceipt;

5. Authorizes to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of propertyused, or to be used, by the Commonwealth and, intending to defraud theCommonwealth, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing thatthe information on the receipt is true;

6. Knowingly buys or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, publicproperty from an officer or employee of the Commonwealth who lawfully may notsell or pledge the property; or

7. Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record orstatement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmitmoney or property to the Commonwealth;

shall be liable to the Commonwealth for a civil penalty of not less than$5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus three times the amount of damagessustained by the Commonwealth.

B. If the court finds that (i) the person committing the violation of thissection furnished officials of the Commonwealth responsible for investigatingfalse claims violations with all information known to the person about theviolation within 30 days after the date on which the defendant first obtainedthe information; (ii) such person fully cooperated with any Commonwealthinvestigation of such violation; (iii) at the time such person furnished theCommonwealth with the information about the violation, no criminalprosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced withrespect to such violation, and (iv) the person did not have actual knowledgeof the existence of an investigation into such violation, the court mayassess not less than two times the amount of damages that the Commonwealthsustains because of the act of the person. A person violating this sectionshall also be liable to the Commonwealth for the costs of a civil actionbrought to recover any such penalty or damages.

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

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

(2002, c. 842; 2004, c. 589.)

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