HB 145: "An Act making a civil remedy available to the state or a municipality against persons who make false claims for, or certain misrepresentations regarding, state or municipal money or other property; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 145 01 "An Act making a civil remedy available to the state or a municipality against persons 02 who make false claims for, or certain misrepresentations regarding, state or municipal 03 money or other property; and providing for an effective date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 36.30.687(a) is amended to read: 06 (a) A person who makes or uses, in support of a contract claim under this 07 chapter, a misrepresentation, or who practices or attempts to practice a fraud, at any 08 stage of proceedings relating to a procurement or contract controversy under this 09 chapter 10 (1) forfeits all claims relating to that procurement or contract; and 11 (2) is liable to the state for a false claim as provided in AS 37.10.090 12 [REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL SUMS PAID ON THE CLAIM, FOR ALL COSTS 13 ATTRIBUTABLE TO REVIEW OF THE CLAIM, AND FOR A CIVIL PENALTY 14 EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT BY WHICH THE CLAIM IS MISREPRESENTED].
01 * Sec. 2. AS 37.10.090 is repealed and reenacted to read: 02 Sec. 37.10.090. False claims and misrepresentation against state or 03 municipality. (a) A person is civilly liable to the state or a municipality in 04 accordance with the provisions of this section if the person commits any of the 05 following acts: 06 (1) knowingly presents or causes to be presented to an officer or 07 employee of the state or of a municipality a false claim for payment or approval by the 08 state or municipality; 09 (2) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used a false record 10 or statement to get a false claim paid or approved by the state or a municipality; 11 (3) conspires to defraud the state or a municipality by getting a false 12 claim allowed or paid by the state or municipality; 13 (4) has possession, custody, or control of public property or money 14 used or to be used by the state or a municipality and knowingly delivers or causes to 15 be delivered less money or property than the amount for which the person receives a 16 document certifying receipt; 17 (5) is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of 18 property used or to be used by the state or a municipality and knowingly makes or 19 delivers a receipt that falsely represents the property used or to be used; 20 (6) knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or a debt, 21 property of the state or a municipality from a person who lawfully may not sell or 22 pledge the property; 23 (7) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used a false record 24 or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or 25 property to the state or a municipality; or 26 (8) is a beneficiary of an inadvertent submission of a false claim to the 27 state or a municipality, subsequently discovers the falsity of the claim, and fails to 28 disclose the false claim to the state or the municipality within a reasonable time after 29 discovery of the false claim. 30 (b) If civil liability is found under (a) of this section, the person is liable to the 31 state or municipality for the following:
01 (1) except as provided in (c) of this section, three times the amount of 02 the damages that the state or municipality sustained because of the act of that person; 03 (2) a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each act for which liability is 04 found under (a) of this section; 05 (3) attorney fees and costs, awarded in accordance with Alaska Rules 06 of Civil Procedure, to recover amounts under (1) and (2) of this subsection. 07 (c) The court may reduce the amount of damages under (b)(1) of this section 08 to an amount not less than two times the amount of the damages sustained and may 09 waive entirely the civil penalties under (b)(2) of this section if the standards set out in 10 this subsection are met. To be eligible for reduction or waiver, the person must prove, 11 and the court must find, all of the following: 12 (1) the person committing any of the acts described in (a) of this 13 section furnished officials of the state or of the municipality responsible for 14 investigating violations of this section with all information known to that person about 15 the violation within 30 days after the date on which the person first obtained the 16 information; 17 (2) the person fully cooperated with any investigation by the state or a 18 municipality; and 19 (3) at the time the person furnished the state or the municipality with 20 information, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had started, 21 and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation. 22 (d) Liability under this section is joint and several for any act committed by 23 two or more persons. 24 (e) Except as provided in (g) of this section, the remedies provided under this 25 section are in addition to any other remedies provided by law. 26 (f) This section dos not apply to any controversy involving an amount or value 27 of less than $500. 28 (g) This section does not apply to claims, records, or statements made to 29 present or support a claim under 30 (1) AS 23.20 (Alaska Employment Security Act); 31 (2) AS 23.30 (Alaska Workers' Compensation Act);
01 (3) AS 43 (Revenue and Taxation); 02 (4) AS 47.25 (Public Assistance); or 03 (5) AS 47.27 (Alaska Temporary Assistance Program). 04 * Sec. 3. AS 37.10 is amended by adding new sections to read: 05 Sec. 37.10.092. Limitation of actions; standard of proof. (a) A civil action 06 under AS 37.10.090 may not be filed more than six years after the date of discovery 07 by the official of the state or municipality charged with responsibility to act in the 08 circumstances or, in any event, no more than 10 years after the date on which the act 09 giving rise to civil liability under AS 37.10.090 was committed. 10 (b) In an action brought under AS 37.10.090, the state or a municipality is 11 required to prove all essential elements of the cause of action, including damages, by a 12 preponderance of the evidence. 13 (c) A guilty verdict rendered in a criminal proceeding charging false 14 statements or fraud, whether upon a verdict after trial or upon a plea of guilty or nolo 15 contendere, estops the defendant from denying the essential elements of the offense in 16 a civil action brought under AS 37.10.090 that involves the same activity as in the 17 criminal proceeding. This subsection does not apply to a guilty verdict upon a plea of 18 nolo contendere made before July 1, 2001. 19 Sec. 37.10.094. Action by attorney general or municipal attorney. (a) The 20 attorney general shall investigate acts giving rise to civil liability under AS 37.10.090 21 involving state money or property. If the attorney general finds that a person has 22 committed or is committing any of the acts covered by AS 37.10.090, the attorney 23 general may bring a civil action under AS 37.10.090 against that person. If the 24 attorney general brings a civil action under AS 37.10.090 that involves municipal 25 money or property as well as state money or property, the attorney general shall, on 26 the same date that the complaint is filed in that action, provide a copy of the complaint 27 to the appropriate prosecuting authority of the municipality. 28 (b) The prosecuting authority of a municipality shall investigate acts giving 29 rise to civil liability under AS 37.10.090 involving municipal money or property. If 30 the prosecuting authority of the municipality finds that a person has committed or is 31 committing any of the acts covered by AS 37.10.090, the prosecuting authority may
01 bring a civil action under AS 37.10.090 against that person. If the prosecuting 02 authority brings a civil action under AS 37.10.090 that involves state money or 03 property as well as municipal money or property, the prosecuting authority shall, on 04 the same date that the complaint is filed in that action, provide a copy of the complaint 05 to the attorney general. Within 60 days after receiving the complaint, the attorney 06 general shall do one of the following: 07 (1) notify the court that the attorney general intends to proceed with 08 the action, in which case the attorney general shall assume primary responsibility for 09 conducting the action and the prosecuting authority of the municipality may continue 10 as a party; 11 (2) notify the court that the attorney general declines to proceed with 12 the action, in which case the prosecuting authority of the municipality may conduct 13 the action; notwithstanding AS 37.10.090, if the attorney general declines to proceed 14 with the action, the attorney general may authorize the prosecuting authority of the 15 municipality to assume lead responsibility for conducting the action for any state 16 money or property remaining in the action. 17 (c) If an action brought under AS 37.10.090 involves both state and municipal 18 money or property, any damages and civil penalties awarded shall be shared by the 19 state and the municipality after deducting and reimbursing the costs of recovery 20 incurred by the parties not covered by the award of costs and fees. Unless the state 21 and municipality agree otherwise, the share of each is determined according to the 22 proportion of the money or property of each involved to the total money or property 23 involved in the action. 24 * Sec. 4. AS 37.10 is amended by adding a new section to article 4 to read: 25 Sec. 37.10.190. Definitions. In AS 37.10.090 - 37.10.190, unless the context 26 requires otherwise, 27 (1) "controversy" means any one or more acts committed by the same 28 person in violation of AS 37.10.090, either singly or in the aggregate; 29 (2) "municipality" includes a school district; in this paragraph, "school 30 district" does not include a regional educational attendance area; 31 (3) "state" means a state agency or administrative unit, whether in the
01 legislative, judicial, or executive branch, and includes the University of Alaska, the 02 Alaska Railroad Corporation, a regional educational attendance area, and any public or 03 quasi-public corporation, board, or commission of the state. 04 * Sec. 5. AS 36.30.687(c) and AS 37.10.100 are repealed. 05 * Sec. 6. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).