On April 16, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal signed the Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act (House Bill 822) into law. The Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act, which goes into effect on July 1, 2012, establishes civil penalties for any person or legal entity that commits or conspires to engage in certain fraudulent acts, including but not limited to:
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recently issued a decision that may have broad implications to the calculation and imposition of civil penalties in False Claim Act (FCA) cases, because, for the first time, a court refused to issue mandatory civil penalties against a contractor that was found to have violated the FCA.
More specifically, United States ex rel. Bunk v. Birkart Globalistics GmbH & Co., et. al., No. 1:02-CV-1168 (E.D. Va. February 14, 2012), involves a qui tam claim that was filed against a contractor for violations of the FCA. The alleged violations stem from a bid submitted to the Department of Defense, which included a Certificate of Independent Pricing that stated: