New York Consolidated Laws, State Finance Law - STF § 189. Liability for certain acts

1. Subject to the provisions of subdivision two of this section, 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 paragraph (a), (b), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of this subdivision;

(d) has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the state or a local 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 state or a local government and, intending to defraud the state or a local 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 state or a local government knowing that the officer or employee violates a provision of law when selling or pledging such property;  

(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 state or a local government;  or

(h) knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state or a local government, or conspires to do the same;  shall be liable to the state or a local government, as applicable, for a civil penalty of not less than six thousand dollars and not more than twelve thousand dollars, as adjusted to be equal to the civil penalty allowed under the federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. sec. 3729, et seq., as amended, as adjusted for inflation by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended ( 28 U.S.C. 2461 note;   Pub. L. No. 101-410 ), plus three times the amount of all damages, including consequential damages, which the state or local government sustains because of the act of that person.

2. The court may assess not more than two times the amount of damages sustained because of the act of the person described in subdivision one of this section, if the court finds that:

(a) the person committing the violation of this section had furnished all information known to such person about the violation, to those officials responsible for investigating false claims violations on behalf of the state and any local government that sustained damages, within thirty days after the date on which such person first obtained the information;

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

(c) at the time such person furnished information about the violation, no criminal prosecution, civil action, or administrative action had commenced with respect to such violation, and the person did not have actual knowledge of the existence of an investigation into such violation.

3. A person who violates this section shall also be liable for the costs, including attorneys' fees, of a civil action brought to recover any such penalty or damages.

4. (a) This section shall apply to claims, records, or statements made under the tax law only if (i) the net income or sales of the person against whom the action is brought equals or exceeds one million dollars for any taxable year subject to any action brought pursuant to this article;  (ii) the damages pleaded in such action exceed three hundred and fifty thousand dollars;  and (iii) the person is alleged to have violated paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of subdivision one of this section;  provided, however, that nothing in this subparagraph shall be deemed to modify or restrict the application of such paragraphs to any act alleged that relates to a violation of the tax law.

(b) The attorney general shall consult with the commissioner of the department of taxation and finance prior to filing or intervening in any action under this article that is based on the filing of false claims, records or statements made under the tax law.  If the state declines to participate or to authorize participation by a local government in such an action pursuant to subdivision two of section one hundred ninety of this article, the qui tam plaintiff must obtain approval from the attorney general before making any motion to compel the department of taxation and finance to disclose tax records.

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