This month’s New York False Claims Act amendment has received attention from the New York Times blogger Nicholas Confessore, who notes that the new law could “sharply expand investigations of wealthy tax cheats by empowering whistle-blowers to file law suits against them.”
Confessore points out that this expansion on the Act, which previously focused on Medicaid fraud or fraud committed by government contractors, will allow the Act to be used in the recovery of monies withheld from the government through fraudulent tax statements. The bill states that this will apply “only when the net income or sales of the defendant total $1 million or more and the damages pleaded in the action exceed $350,000.”
The amended Act continues to allot a portion of any awarded damages to the whistleblower, who is afforded new protections under the Act. As with all types of fraud covered under the Act, damages are calculated at three times the amount of the fraud.