Lawsuits under the False Claims Act require that the defendant acted with scienter. Simply put, there must be evidence that the defendant “knowingly” defrauded the government. 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a).
While the Act does require some knowledge of the fraudulent nature of defendant’s actions, this is not a requirement of intent. In fact, the definition of “knowingly” expressly states that term “require[s] no proof of specific intent to defraud.” § 3729(b)(1)(B).
“Scienter” is shown if the defendant “(i) has actual knowledge of the information; (ii) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or (iii) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information.” § 3729(b)(1)(A).
“Scienter” can be proven in many ways. Probably the most common way is when the whistleblower raises concerns of possible fraud to the defendant or one of its officers, and those concerns are ignored. Even better proof can be found in emails or recorded conversations where the defendant or one of its officers admits actual knowledge of the fraud.
If you have discovered fraud against the government, contact Miller Law Group today for a free consultation or call us at (919) 348-4361. Our whistleblower attorneys can help you combat waste and abuse of taxpayer money.