New York Governor David Paterson signed into law today a bill that amends the New York False Claims Act, strengthening the act so as to be “at least as effective as the federal Act.”

In addition to other changes, the bill adds new protections for whistleblowers and broadens the scope of damages of which a portion is to be allotted to the whistleblower. Further protection and increased financial motivation for whistleblowers may help to motivate persons with knowledge of funds fraudulently acquired from the state to come forward.

The bill’s memo clarifies that the intent of the amendments is, in addition to strengthening the deterrence of further fraud against the government, to “help increase the amount of fraudulently-paid funds recovered by state and local governments under the False Claims Act.”

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