31 U.S.C. § 3729 : US Code - Section 3729: False claims

      (a) Liability for Certain Acts. - 
        (1) In general. - Subject to paragraph (2), any person who - 
          (A) knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or
        fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
          (B) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a
        false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent
        claim;
          (C) conspires to commit a violation of subparagraph (A), (B),
        (D), (E), (F), or (G);
          (D) has possession, custody, or control of property or money
        used, or to be used, by the Government and knowingly delivers,
        or causes to be delivered, less than all of that money or
        property;
          (E) is 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;
          (F) 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 property; or
          (G) knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a
        false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or
        transmit money or property to the Government, or knowingly
        conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases 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, as adjusted by
      the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28
      U.S.C. 2461 note; Public Law 104-410 (!1)), plus 3 times the
      amount of damages which the Government sustains because of the
      act of that person.

        (2) Reduced damages. - 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;
          (B) such person fully cooperated with any Government
        investigation of such violation; and
          (C) at the time such person furnished the United States with
        the information about the violation, no criminal prosecution,
        civil action, or administrative action had commenced under this
        title with respect to such violation, and the person did not
        have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into
        such violation,

      the court may assess not less than 2 times the amount of damages
      which the Government sustains because of the act of that person.
        (3) Costs of civil actions. - A person violating this
      subsection shall also be liable to the United States Government
      for the costs of a civil action brought to recover any such
      penalty or damages.

      (b) Definitions. - For purposes of this section - 
        (1) the terms "knowing" and "knowingly" - 
          (A) mean that a person, with respect to information - 
            (i) has actual knowledge of the information;
            (ii) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity
          of the information; or
            (iii) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of
          the information; and

          (B) require no proof of specific intent to defraud;

        (2) the term "claim" - 
          (A) means any request or demand, whether under a contract or
        otherwise, for money or property and whether or not the United
        States has title to the money or property, that - 
            (i) is presented to an officer, employee, or agent of the
          United States; or
            (ii) is made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient,
          if the money or property is to be spent or used on the
          Government's behalf or to advance a Government program or
          interest, and if the United States Government - 
              (I) provides or has provided any portion of the money or
            property requested or demanded; or
              (II) will reimburse such contractor, grantee, or other
            recipient for any portion of the money or property which is
            requested or demanded; and

          (B) does not include requests or demands for money or
        property that the Government has paid to an individual as
        compensation for Federal employment or as an income subsidy
        with no restrictions on that individual's use of the money or
        property;

        (3) the term "obligation" means an established duty, whether or
      not fixed, arising from an express or implied contractual,
      grantor-grantee, or licensor-licensee relationship, from a fee-
      based or similar relationship, from statute or regulation, or
      from the retention of any overpayment; and
        (4) the term "material" means having a natural tendency to
      influence, or be capable of influencing, the payment or receipt
      of money or property.

      (c) Exemption From Disclosure. - Any information furnished
    pursuant to subsection (a)(2) shall be exempt from disclosure under
    section 552 of title 5.
      (d) Exclusion. - This section does not apply to claims, records,
    or statements made under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.