In 2010, the State of Iowa passed the Iowa False Claims Act (“Iowa FCA”), its own version of the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”). The Iowa FCA allows people who know about fraud to bring a qui tam case against a person or entity for submitting or causing the submission of false claims to the State.
Like the federal FCA, the Iowa FCA offers financial rewards to whistleblowers for bringing an action on behalf of the State. If the State decides to intervene in a case, whistleblowers may receive 15-25% of the recovery. If the States decides not to intervene and the whistleblowers pursue the case on their own, they may receive 25-30% of the recovery.
Iowa False Claims Act and Federal False Claims Act Similarities
Key provisions of the Iowa FCA mirror the federal FCA, such as:
- Liability attaches under the Iowa FCA for submitting a false claim for payment to the State, making or using a false record or statement material to a false claim, failing to deliver all of the property owed to the State, creating or submitting a false receipt, making a false purchase, or conspiring to do any of these actions.
- A person who knows about fraud against the State of Iowa can bring a claim on behalf of the State. If the Iowa Attorney General decides not to pursue the case, the citizen has the right to proceed with the litigation in Court.
- Iowa can recover triple the amount of its actual damages, plus between $5,500 and $11,000 per violation.
- Once an action is brought under the Iowa FCA, it remains under seal for at least 60 days.
- The Iowa FCA prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblower employees. Retaliation includes firing, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing the employee. If the employer does retaliate, the employee is entitled to the reinstatement of their position, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any damages sustained because of the discrimination.
Previous Iowa False Claims Act Cases
The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has prosecuted numerous qui tam cases, recovering funds for both the state government and Iowa taxpayers:
- Keokuk Care Facilities: In March 2013, the owners of the Lexington Square care facility in Keokuk and Dave’s Place, a Keokuk specialized nursing facility, were accused of submitting fraudulent Medicaid claims to the state.
- Siouxland Community Health Center: In October 2013, the Siouxland Community Health Center, a community health center in Sioux City, agreed to pay $200,000 to settle allegations that it violated the federal FCA and the Iowa FCA by improperly submitting claims to Iowa Medicaid for dental outreach services performed on children who were not eligible for the service.
One last thing…
For more than a decade, the Berger Montague Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act Practice Group has represented whistleblowers in matters involving healthcare fraud, defense contracting fraud, IRS fraud, securities fraud, and commodities fraud. Our practice is nationwide, and we have represented whistleblowers in every area of the country. While the information on this blog is not legal advice, we would be more than happy to speak with you directly about your potential case. Any information you share with us will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality, and we will protect you every step of the way.