N.H. Rev. Stat. § 167:61-b

Current through Chapter 7 of the 2024 Legislative Session
Section 167:61-b - False Claims Against the Department; Definitions
I. Any person shall be liable to the state for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of damages that the state sustains because of the act of that person, who:
(a) Knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of the department, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval.
(b) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the department.
(c) Conspires to defraud the department by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid.
(d) Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the department and, intending to defraud the department or willfully to conceal the property, delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt.
(e) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the department.
(f) Is a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim to the department, who subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim, and fails to disclose the false claim to the department within a reasonable time after discovery of the false claim.
II.
(a) Notwithstanding the damages provisions of paragraph I, the court may assess not less than 2 or more than 3 times the amount of damages that the state sustains because of the act of the person and no civil penalty, if the court finds that a person who has violated paragraph I:
(1) Furnished officials of the state responsible for investigating false claims violations with all information known to the person about the violation within 30 days after the date on which the defendant first obtained the information;
(2) Fully cooperated with any state investigation of such violation; and
(3) At the time the person furnished the state with the information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced under this chapter with respect to such violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into such violation.
(b) A person violating paragraph I shall also be liable to the state for the costs and attorneys' fees arising from any civil action brought to recover the penalty or damages.
III. Liability under this section shall be joint and several for any act committed by 2 or more persons.
IV. This section shall not apply to any controversy involving damages to the department of less than $5,000 in value. For purposes of this paragraph, "controversy" means the aggregate of any one or more false claims submitted by the same person.
V. In RSA 167:61-b through RSA 167:61-e:
(a) "Claim" means any request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property that is made to an officer, employee, agent, or other representative of the department or to a contractor, grantee, or other person, if the department provides any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded, or if the department will reimburse the contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded.
(b)
(1) "Knowing" and "knowingly" means that a person, with respect to information:
(A) Has actual knowledge of the information;
(B) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or
(C) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information.
(2) No proof of specific intent to defraud is required for an act to be knowing.
(c) "Original source" means an individual who has direct and independent knowledge of the information on which the allegations are based and has voluntarily provided the information to the state before filing an action under RSA 167:61-c that is based on the information, and whose information provided the basis or catalyst for the investigation, hearing, audit, or report that led to the public disclosure.
(d) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, firm, association, organization, partnership, business, or trust.
(e) "Relator" means an individual who brings an action under RSA 167:61-c.
VI. In any action brought under RSA 167:61-c, the state shall be required to prove all essential elements of the cause of action, including damages, by a preponderance of the evidence.
VII. An action for false claims under RSA 167:61-c shall not be brought:
(a) More than 6 years after the date on which the violation of RSA 167:61-b is committed; or
(b) More than 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the official within the office of the attorney general charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances, but in no event more than 10 years after the date on which the violation is committed, whichever occurs last.

RSA 167:61-b

2004, 167 : 2 , eff. Jan. 1, 2005.