Senator San Nicolas introduces local version of Federal False Claims Act

Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Senator Mike San Nicolas has introduced a bill that mirrors the Federal False Claims act.

According to a release from the Senator he hopes bill 220 will fight corruption by establishing liability when any person or entity knowingly and fraudulently makes a false claim for payment against GovGuam. This means the government will be able to seek monetary restitution for false claims made by using things like false records, fraudulent invoices or falsely certified amounts. It also covers kick-backs, fraud and unsafe manufacturing practices. The bill would reward whistleblowers who report false claims that turn out to be true. If the government is able to collect restitution on the false claim the whistleblower will receive a portion of the settlement amount. According to the Senator the federal government has already collected billions under the False Claims Act, most of which are from kick-backs and fraud. Senator San Nicolas says that thirty states and the District of Columbia have false claims laws on their books.