SB 0526 Creates civil recovery for false or fraudulent monetary claims made to the state
LR Number:S2195.01I Fiscal Note:2195-01
Committee:Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:03/24/99 - Hearing Conducted S Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 1999
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Current Bill Summary

SB 526 - This act creates a civil action to recover fraud committed against the state, commonly known as Qui Tam in the Federal False Claims Act.

The act authorizes filing of suit by the Attorney General or citizen plaintiffs on behalf of the state for false or fraudulent claims against the state. The state retains independent rights over a citizen plaintiff, including the right to exclude the citizen from participation.

Citizen plaintiffs receive 15-25% of recovery if the state takes over the case; 25-30% if the citizen brings action alone; and nothing if they are convicted of a crime in relation to the case. It also allows payment up to 10% to informers.

Suits by those who may have special inside knowledge, including various state officials, or when the information of fraudulent claims is commonly known. The act sets forth protections for whistleblowers.

The act also sets out procedural aspects of subpoena service, statute of limitations, burden of proof, and estopping defendants found guilty in a criminal trial from denying the essential elements of the case.

Civil investigative demands (CID) are authorized with the procedures governed by existing Missouri law. Civil investigative demands provide for greater discovery authority by the Attorney General in civil cases. In general, it is the power of the Attorney General to investigate a civil case using discovery devices not available normally until after suit is filed. Oral testimony may be taken in a CID under Section 33.880. Procedures for the custodian to keep CID documents, their release and return, including being deemed a closed record are set out.

The whistleblower fund and procedures for distribution of any recovery are set forth in Section 33.895. Any financial recovery does not directly reimburse the state or the department that was the victim of the fraudulent claim, but is dispersed to the Attorney General, the State Highway Patrol, citizen plaintiffs and witnesses, and to pay the cost of investigation. Any remaining funds shall be transferred to the General Revenue Fund.