A federal judge dismissed a group of False Claims Act suits that charged natural gas companies with underreporting their production on federal lands.

The 73 cases, brought by a whistleblower under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, alleged that the inaccurate measurement of gas production caused the federal government to receive less than the true amount it was due in royalties. The court ruled that the whistleblower, Jack Grynberg, possessed only second-hand or speculative knowledge. Federal law requires that to collect a relator’s share, a person must show the government new information about the fraud they allege.

Grynberg has said he will appeal the ruling.

The ruling was reported on in an October 31, 2006 AP story in Business Week.

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