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NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 30 Issue: 3 Dated: (Spring 1993) Pages: 643-658
J M Kaye; J P Sullivan
Date Published
16 pages
This article focuses on 18 U.S. Code, section 287, which imposes criminal liability on persons who make false claims against the Federal Government, and it also discusses relevant development and applications of sections 3729 through 3733 of Title 31, specifically qui tam litigation and double jeopardy implications.
In 1863, as a result of increasingly widespread procurement fraud in Civil War defense contracts, Congress enacted the first False Claims Act, which was designed to protect government funds and property from fraudulent claims. Today, most false claims litigation involves alleged violations of 18 U.S.C. section 287 and 31 U.S.C. The 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act have blurred the dividing line between criminal false claims as governed by Title 18, and civil false claims, as governed by Title 31. Under section 287, it is illegal to present a false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim to the Federal Government. The courts have construed section 287 broadly, thus enabling the Federal Government to use it in prosecuting a wide spectrum of false claims. Section 3730 of Title 31 authorizes a private citizen, acting on behalf of the United States, to bring a civil action for violations of 31 U.S.C. section 3729, the civil false claims statute (qui tam litigation). The concluding section of this article discusses whether or not civil penalties authorized by Title 31 constitute a second punishment for double jeopardy purposes after a finding of criminal liability under Title 18. 120 footnotes


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