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Home > Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act Lawyer

Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act

Fraud costs the government billions of dollars each year, so Georgia has taken the helpful step of incentivizing blowing the whistle on this illegal activity. To that end, the state passed the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act (GTPFCA), which it modeled on the federal False Claims Act. The GTPFCA has made it illegal to submit a fraudulent claim to a government entity for payment or reimbursement. The law applies not only to the state government but also municipalities, cities, and even school boards, among others. If you suspect fraud, contact Stacey Evans Law today.

What the Law Does

This is a civil law which the government can use to claw back money fraudulently obtained and levy a fine. Currently, the fines are as high as $11,000 per claim, and the government can seek treble damages (three times the amount of money fraudulently obtained). However, the law does not apply to fraudulent tax claims, which are covered by a different law.

Like its federal counterpart, the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act allows private citizens to sue fraudsters directly. However, Georgia does require that you obtain permission from the state’s Attorney General first. The government may also intervene in the suit once it is filed, and the government always has the power to settle the claim with the defendant.

In some cases, our clients can receive a percentage of the proceeds from the lawsuit, up to 30% if the government does not intervene (less if they do). Thus, the law creates a direct financial incentive to uncover fraudulent activity.

Examples of False Claims

There are many types of false claims involving all types of governmental agencies. Some of the more common include:

  • Submitting false estimates of the cost of work
  • Misrepresenting qualifications during a bid
  • Charging for work not performed or too much for work
  • Using funds from one contract for another contract
  • Falsely identifying who will work on a project

These are only some of the more common fraudulent activities—there are many more.

Time Limits on Filing Suit

Georgia Code § 23-2-123 gives the state six years to file a suit from the date of the violation or three years from the date the state knew or should have known of the violation, whichever comes later. At a maximum, the state has 10 years to file suit. These time periods are confusing, so we encourage anyone with evidence of fraud to quickly reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.

Protection from Retaliation

One fear many people have about blowing the whistle on fraud is that they fear retaliation. This fear is well founded. Many employers will fire or demote someone who reports suspected illegal activity, including fraud.

Fortunately, the GTPFCA protects against retaliation and gives anyone whose rights are infringed the ability to sue for damages in court. Available remedies include reinstatement as well as monetary damages for lost income or other injuries.

Contact our Georgia False Claims Act Lawyer for More Information

Stacey Evans Law represents clients in and around Atlanta. For assistance with your case, please call us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation call.

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