What are the civil penalties under the False Claims Act?

The text of the False Claims Act says there is a civil penalty of $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 per violation of the Act.  Over time, this penalty has been increased by laws increasing many kinds of civil fines to account for inflation.  Presently, the penalty ranges from $5,500.00 to $11,000.00.

How Do False Claims Act Civil Penalties Work?

Civil penalties can be assessed anytime a defendant violates the False Claims Act. How many fines are imposed, is dependent upon the judge in a particular case, as they are not normally for a jury to decide. A “knowing violation” of the Act will create liability for a civil fine. However, it can be a complicated process to figure out how many civil fines are involved in a case.  For instance, if an entire company overbilled or double billed for personnel services, would the contract as a whole be the false claim? Or, is it each individual fraudulent time card subject to a fine? The more civil penalties assessed the greater the recovery for the government and the plaintiff(s). In the Medicare / Medicaid scheme, almost every single bill is for a separate medical procedure. So, in cases involving the illegal marketing of pharmaceuticals, or repeated charges for medically unnecessary procedures, the civil fines can amount to a great deal of money.