2011 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 44: Miscellaneous Civil Law Matters
Article 9: Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, 44-9-1 through 44-9-14
Section 44-9-3: False claims; liability; penalties; exception.
44-9-3. False claims; liability; penalties; exception.
A. A person shall not:
(1) knowingly present, or cause to be presented, to an employee, officer or agent of the state or to a contractor, grantee or other recipient of state funds a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) knowingly make or use, or cause to be made or used, a false, misleading or fraudulent record or statement to obtain or support the approval of or the payment on a false or fraudulent claim;
(3) conspire to defraud the state by obtaining approval or payment on a false or fraudulent claim;
(4) conspire to make, use or cause to be made or used, a false, misleading or fraudulent record or statement to conceal, avoid or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state;
(5) when in possession, custody or control of property or money used or to be used by the state, knowingly deliver or cause to be delivered less property or money than the amount indicated on a certificate or receipt;
(6) when authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used or to be used by the state, knowingly make or deliver a receipt that falsely represents a material characteristic of the property;
(7) knowingly buy, or receive as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from any person that may not lawfully sell or pledge the property;
(8) knowingly make or use, or cause to be made or used, a false, misleading or fraudulent record or statement to conceal, avoid or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state; or
(9) as a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim and having subsequently discovered the falsity of the claim, fail to disclose the false claim to the state within a reasonable time after discovery.
B. Proof of specific intent to defraud is not required for a violation of Subsection A of this section.
C. A person who violates Subsection A of this section shall be liable for:
(1) three times the amount of damages sustained by the state because of the violation;
(2) a civil penalty of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) and not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation;
(3) the costs of a civil action brought to recover damages or penalties; and
(4) reasonable attorney fees, including the fees of the attorney general or state agency counsel.
D. A court may assess not less than two times the amount of damages sustained by the state if the court finds all of the following:
(1) the person committing the violation furnished the attorney general with all information known to that person about the violation within thirty days after the date on which the person first obtained the information;
(2) at the time that the person furnished the attorney general with information about the violation, a criminal prosecution, civil action or administrative action had not been commenced with respect to the violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into the violation; and
(3) the person fully cooperated with any investigation by the attorney general.
E. This section does not apply to claims, records or statements made pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 7 NMSA 1978.
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