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False Claim Need Not Be "Presented" By Defendant


In the latest in a series of cases interpreting the False Claims Act's "presentment" element, the court in U.S. v. Sequel Contractors, Inc., 2005 WL 3307026 (C.D. Cal., Nov. 14, 2005), held that a contractor submitting a false claim for payment to its county-government customer, which then submitted a request for partial reimbursement to the federal government, could be liable under the FCA, because the statute only requires that someone (in this case the county-government customer), and not necessarily the defendant itself, "present" the false claim to the federal government, as long as the defendant "causes" the ultimate presentation. The court also held that, although actionable false claims must be made "knowingly," the knowledge in question is knowledge of the claim's falsity, not knowledge that the ultimate recipient of the claim would be the federal government.

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