New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed a “Fraud Against Taxpayers Act” on March 15. The act, whose effective date is July 1, 2007, allows the attorney general to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the state against anybody who makes a false claim for payment or conspires to defraud the state or its agents. It also provides protections and incentives for whistleblowers who report fraud.
The governor noted that 11 others states, the District of Columbia and the federal government already have similar laws. The “qui tam” provisions give the person initially bringing the action a part of the penalty recovered, with the balance going to the state.