2012 Hawaii Revised Statutes
TITLE 6. COUNTY ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION
46. General Provisions
46-171 Actions for false claims to the counties; qui tam actions.


HI Rev Stat § 46-171 (2012) What's This?

§46-171 Actions for false claims to the counties; qui tam actions. (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) Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by a county and, intending to defraud a county or to wilfully conceal the property, delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;

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

(5) Buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from any officer or employee of a county that the person knows is not lawfully authorized to sell or pledge the property;

(6) 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 a county, or knowingly conceals, or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to a county;

(7) Is a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim to a county, who subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim, and fails to disclose the false claim to the county within a reasonable time after discovery of the false claim; or

(8) Conspires to commit any of the conduct described in this subsection,

shall be liable to the county for a civil penalty of not less than $5,500 and not more than $11,000, plus three times the amount of damages that the county sustains due to the act of that person.

(b) If the court finds that a person who has violated subsection (a):

(1) Furnished officials of the county responsible for investigating false claims violations with all information known to the person about the violation within thirty days after the date on which the defendant first obtained the information;

(2) Fully cooperated with any county investigation of the violation; and

(3) At the time the person furnished the county with the information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced under this title with respect to the violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into the violation;

the court may assess not less than two times the amount of damages that the county sustains because of the act of the person. A person violating subsection (a) shall also be liable to the county for the costs and attorneys' fees of a civil action brought to recover the penalty or damages.

(c) Liability under this section shall be joint and several for any act committed by two or more persons.

(d) This section shall not apply to any controversy involving an amount of less than $500 in value. For purposes of this subsection, "controversy" means the aggregate of any one or more false claims submitted by the same person in violation of this part. Proof of specific intent to defraud is not required.

(e) For purposes of this section:

"Claim" means any request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property, and whether or not a county has title to the money or property, that is presented to an officer, employee, or agent of the county or is made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient, if the money or property is to be spent or used on the county's behalf or to advance a county program or interest, and if the county provides or has provided any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded or will reimburse the contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded. "Claim" shall not include requests or demands for money or property that a county has paid to an individual as compensation for employment or as an income subsidy with no restrictions on that individual's use of the money or property.

"Knowing" and "knowingly" means that a person, with respect to information:

(1) Has actual knowledge of the information;

(2) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or

(3) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information;

and no proof of specific intent to defraud is required.

"Material" means having the tendency to influence or capability to influence the payment or receipt of money or property.

"Obligation" means an established duty, whether or not fixed, arising from an express or implied contractual, grantor-grantee, or licensor-licensee relationship, from a fee-based or similar relationship, from statute, regulation, or administrative rule, or from the retention of any overpayment. [L 2001, c 227, pt of §1; am L 2012, c 294, §2]

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Hawaii may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.