Georgia Code Title 23. Equity § 23-3-121

(a) Any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity that:

(1) Knowingly presents or causes to be presented 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 material to a false or fraudulent claim;

(3) Conspires to commit a violation of paragraph (1), (2), (4), (5), (6), or (7) of this subsection;

(4) Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the state or local government and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less than all of that money or property;

(5) Being authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the state or local government and, intending to defraud the state or local 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 state or local government 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 material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state or local government, or knowingly conceals, knowingly and improperly avoids, or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state or a local government

shall be liable to the State of Georgia for a civil penalty of not less than $5,500.00 and not more than $11,000.00 for each false or fraudulent claim, plus three times the amount of damages which the state or local government sustains because of the act of such person.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section notwithstanding, if the court finds that:

(1) The person committing the violation of this subsection furnished officials of the state or local government 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;

(2) Such person fully cooperated with any government investigation of such violation;  and

(3) At the time such person furnished the state or local government with the information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced under this article 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 more than two times the amount of the actual damages which the state or local government sustained because of the act of such person.

(c) A person violating any provision of this Code section shall also be liable to the state or local government for all costs, reasonable expenses, and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the state or local government in prosecuting a civil action brought to recover the damages and penalties provided under this article.

(d) Any information furnished pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be exempt from disclosure under Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50.

(e) This Code section shall not apply to claims, records, or statements made concerning taxes under the revenue laws of this state.


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