This page is a two-part series on the Hawaii whistleblower laws. Tony Munter speaks with Attorney Thomas Grande about the Hawaii False Claims Act and the origins of this state legislation. Click here for Part 2.
*Tony Munter is not licensed to practice in Hawaii
Since that time, the statute has been amended to conform more closely to the federal statute. As you know, there are Medicaid Funding requirements that give states a greater share of Medicaid funding if they have a false claims act in conformance with certain federal requirements.
One significant difference in our state statute is that we for the past two years, we have been allowed to bring False Claims Act cases on behalf of tax whistleblowers who uncover tax fraud.
That is a significant difference from the federal law and I think we’re one of the few state statutes that allow that. That amendment was passed in 2012.
The Hawai’i County False Claims Act allows the counties to directly bring false claims act cases for false claims that are submitted to the county government. It’s been used somewhat, but because of the smaller budgets and the smaller opportunities for fraud, it hasn’t been used as much as we would like it to be.