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H.R. 3317 (99th): A bill to amend the False Claims Act, and title 18 of the United States Code regarding penalties for false claims, and for other purposes.


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


9/17/1985--Introduced. Amends the False Claims Act to increase the civil penalty for false claims. Provides that "knowing" for purposes of the prohibition means the defendant: (1) had actual knowledge; or (2) had constructive knowledge, in that the defendant acted in reckless disregard of the truth. Allows an action to be brought in the judicial district where the defendant (or, in the case of multiple defendants, where any one defendant) is found, resides, transacts business, or where the violation allegedly occurred. Authorizes the Government to intervene in a civil action for false claims after the 60-day notice period has expired if the Government can demonstrate that it came into possession of new material evidence or information. Requires the Court to dismiss an action brought by an individual under this section, unless the Government proceeds with its own action within 60 days after notification, if it finds that: (1) the action is based on specific information the Government disclosed as a basis for allegations made in prior administrative, civil, or criminal proceedings; or (2) the action is based on information disclosed during a congressional investigation or disseminated by the news media. Establishes minimum award portions from the proceeds of an action or settlement to individuals who bring claims under such Act. Entitles an employee retaliated against by an employer for his or her participation under such Act to full relief, including: (1) reinstatement with seniority rights; (2) backpay with interest; and (3) full compensation for any special damages. Allows the court to grant punitive damages as appropriate. Establishes as the burden of proof in civil false claim cases proof by a preponderance of the evidence. Amends the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure with regard to the exceptions from the prohibition against disclosure of grand jury proceedings. Allows disclosure in certain circumstances for enforcement of Federal criminal and civil law and State criminal law. Authorizes disclosure to any Federal department or agency for the enforcement of Federal civil law or for a matter within the jurisdiction of such department or agency. Amends the Federal criminal code to increase the penalties for the criminal offense of conspiring to defraud the Government with respect to false claims.