SB 959 - The act adopts provisions regarding the filing of fraudulent claims for payment with the state, political subdivisions, school districts, charter schools, and municipal corporations. Under these provisions anyone who files false claims with these governmental organizations, or any public employee or official who commits certain prohibited acts or violates certain criminal statutes, will in most cases be subject to civil penalties of at least $10,000, plus three times the amount of damages to the government. With some exceptions, including claims regarding MO Health Net, a private person can file a lawsuit on behalf of the government. The Attorney General has the authority to intervene and continue the lawsuit, or may allow the private person to continue with the lawsuit. The government may dismiss the action or settle the action, after a hearing before the court. The court may limit the participation of the private person in the lawsuit, if the government shows that it would interfere with their civil case, or may postpone discovery in the case, if it would interfere with a criminal prosecution or other government civil case.
The private person who brings the lawsuit will get a percentage of the money awarded in the lawsuit. If the private person who brought the lawsuit planned or initiated the violation of state law, their recovery is reduced. If the private person who brought the lawsuit is criminally convicted based on their role in the violation of state law, they cannot recover any money.
Employees who are discriminated against in the terms and conditions of their employment because of participating in a false claims case are entitled to file a lawsuit to be reinstated to their job, and receive two times the amount of back pay, interest, special damages, litigation costs, and attorneys' fees.
This act is similar to HB 1790 (2010) and SB 568 (2009).