Any federal contractor who receives government funds, directly or indirectly, is subject to the provisions of the False Claims Act. This is true for contractors working in New York and across the country. The FCA often governs transportation infrastructure projects because they often involve significant federal funding. Common transportation infrastructure projects include publicly funded capital improvements for railroads as well as the renovation or construction of bridges, tunnels, stations, ports and highways. In metropolitan New York City, for example, a number of large transportation infrastructure projects might be running at any given time.
The False Claims Act is designed to punish people and companies for using government funds dishonestly. The punitive nature of the law is meant to deter others from committing fraud against the taxpayers. Some actionable false claims include billing for unnecessary or unperformed services, overbilling, failing to refund or pay money owed, falsely certifying the performance of a condition of payment or billing for services or goods that were substandard.
The False Claims Act has a statute of limitations of six years, so in most cases, claims must be filed within six years of the act that leads to the claim. Under the Act, the defrauding party may be liable for triple damages as well as fines. A whistleblower who reports a case that is successful under the Act is entitled to receive between 15% and 30% of the total. The case must be brought by an attorney on behalf of the whistleblower.
Individuals who believe they are aware of the dishonest use of government funds in transportation infrastructure projects might want to speak with an attorney. An attorney may help by examining the facts of the case or by drafting and filing a complaint for recovery under the False Claims Act. Check out the whistleblower page for more information.