The False Claims Act was set forth in 31 U.S.C. § 231. In 1982, it was codified in 31 U.S.C. § 3729 and amended by the False Claims Amendments Act of 1986 to read as follows:(a) Liability for certain acts. Any person who -
(1) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of the United States Government or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Government;
(3) conspires to defraud the Government by getting a false or fraudulent claim allowed or paid;
(4) has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the Government and, intending to defraud the Government or willfully to conceal the property, delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than the amount for which the person receives a certificate or receipt;
(5) authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the Government and, intending to defraud the Government, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
(6) knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the Government, or a member of the Armed Forces, who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or
(7) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government, is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000, plus 3 times the amount of damages which the Government sustains because of the act of that person, except that if the court finds that—(A) the person committing the violation of this subsection furnished officials of the United States responsible for investigating false claims violations with all information known to such person about the violation within 30 days after the date on which the defendant first obtained the information;
The 1986 amendments enable the government to prove a case of fraud more easily. Under the Act, the government can establish liability without showing that the contractor had a specific intent to defraud. “Knowing,” is defined as:
(1) actual knowledge of the information.
(2) deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information.
(3) reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information.The government is allowed to prove its civil claims by a “preponderance of the evidence,” 31 U.S.C. § 3731(c).