In 2015, the State of Maryland adopted the Maryland False Claims Act (“Maryland FCA”), its own version of the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”). The Maryland FCA allows private individuals to bring a qui tam case against a person or entity for submitting or causing the submission of fraudulent claims to the state government or any political subdivision of the State, such as a county, city, town, or school district.
Like the federal FCA, the Maryland FCA allows for financial rewards to whistleblowers for bringing an action on behalf of the State. If the State intervenes in the case, the whistleblower may receive 15-25% of the recovery.
The Maryland FCA expands upon Maryland’s False Health Claims Act, which only imposes liability on people or entities who present false claims related to Maryland state health plans or programs, including Medicaid. The Maryland FCA is not limited to health plans or programs and broadly applies to all types of false claims.
Maryland FCA and Federal FCA Similarities
- Key provisions of the Maryland FCA mirror the federal FCA, such as:
- Liability attaches under the Maryland 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.
- Once an action is brought under the Maryland FCA, it remains under seal for at least 60 days.
- The Maryland 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.
Maryland FCA and Federal FCA Differences
- The Maryland FCA allows a recovery for a fraud that cost money to either the State of Maryland OR to any political subdivision of the State, such as a county, city, or school district.
- Unlike the federal FCA, if the Maryland Attorney General decides not to intervene in a qui tam action, the case is dismissed-the whistleblower does not have the right to proceed with the action in Court.
For more information on the Maryland FCA or to speak with an attorney, please contact Sherrie Savett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-875-3071. To read more about what whistleblower clients can expect from our lawyers, click here.
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. 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.