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Supreme Court rules against Rocky Flats whistleblower

The United States Supreme Court ruled on March 27 that the whistleblower who exposed fraud at a former nuclear weapons plant is not entitled to a relator’s share.

James Stone stood to collect $1 million under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, but Justice Scalia, writing for the court, said that Stone “lacked and independent knowledge of the information upon which his allegations were based.” Rockwell International, the defendant in the FCA suit, still must pay $4.2 million for false claims it submitted in connection with the environmental cleanup at Rocky Flats, but Stone will not get a portion of that recovery.

Sen. Charles Grassley, one of the authors of the False Claims Act, said lawmakers should consider amendments to the law to make sure people are rewarded when they uncover wrongdoing. ”The Supreme Court has made it even more difficult to get to the bottom of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money,” Grassley said.

The New York Times (subscription required) ran a March 27, 2007 article on the Supreme Court opinion.

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