(a) Any person who commits any of the following acts shall be liable to the District for 3 times the amount of damages which the District sustains because of the act of that person. A person who commits any of the following acts shall also be liable to the District for the costs of a civil action brought to recover penalties or damages, and shall be liable to the District for a civil penalty of not less than $5,500, and not more than $11,000, for each false or fraudulent claim for which the person:
(1) Knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;
(3) Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the District and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less than all of that money or property;
(4) Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the District and, intending to defraud the District, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
(5) Knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the District who lawfully may not sell or pledge property;
(6) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the District, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the District;
(7) Conspires to commit a violation of paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this subsection;
(8) Is a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false or fraudulent claim to the District, subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim, and fails to disclose the false or fraudulent claim to the District; or
(9) Is the beneficiary of an inadvertent payment or overpayment by the District of monies not due and knowingly fails to repay the inadvertent payment or overpayment to the District.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the court may assess not more than two times the amount of damages which the District sustains because of the act of the person, and there shall be no civil penalty, if the court finds all of the following:
(1) The person committing the violation furnished officials of the District responsible for investigating false claims violations with all information known to that person about the violation within 30 days after the date on which the person first obtained the information;
(2) The person fully cooperated with any investigation by the District; and
(3) At the time the person furnished the District with information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced with respect to the violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into the violation.
(c) Liability pursuant to this section shall be joint and several for any act committed by 2 or more persons.
(d) This section shall not apply to claims, records, or statements made pursuant to those portions of Title 47 that refer or relate to taxation, unless the District taxable income, District sales, or District revenue of the person against whom the action is being brought equals or exceeds $1 million for any taxable year subject to any action brought pursuant to this subchapter, and the damages pleaded in the action total $350,000 or more.
(Feb. 21, 1986, D.C. Law 6-85, § 814, 32 DCR 7396; as added May 8, 1998, D.C. Law 12-104, § 2(g), 45 DCR 1687; Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-232, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13632; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-180, § 2(a), 68 DCR 001019.)
2001 Ed., § 2-308.14.
1981 Ed., § 1-1188.14.
Effect of Amendments
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-232 rewrote (a) and (d).