August 12, 2020

Volume X, Number 225

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August 10, 2020

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Senator Grassley Announces Legislation that will Strengthen False Claims Act for COVID-19 Whistleblowers

Yesterday, Senator Charles Grassley announced he is working on legislation that will strengthen the False Claims Act, one of the nation’s oldest and most important whistleblower laws. “The False Claims Act has never been more important than it is right now,” Grassley said in his speech delivered on the Senate floor.

Grassley, a longtime champion for whistleblowers, was behind the passage of a 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act, which led to over $62 billion in recoveries for taxpayers. He is now pushing for whistleblower legislation to address the increased number of frauds being committed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The massive increase in government spending to address the COVID-19 crisis has created new opportunities for fraudsters trying to cheat the government and steal hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” Grassley said earlier in the day during his annual address at the commemoration of National Whistleblower Day.

Even though whistleblowers are needed now more than ever, the Department of Justice has continued to act on a 2018 memo known as the Granston Memo, which encourages the dismissal of whistleblower cases prior to any court hearings. The DOJ’s use of the Memo is “not right,” Grassley noted.

Stephen M. Kohn, whistleblower attorney at the qui tam law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, recently authored an article published by the National Law Review that details the proposed changes to the False Claims Act.

“History has taught us that expansive government spending attracts fraudsters who hatch schemes to line their pockets at the expense of taxpayers and public health,” Kohn said. “Time has shown that the most effective weapons the federal government can employ to detect or stop frauds are whistleblowers.”

Additional Resources:

Watch Senator Grassley’s speech on the Senate floor.

Fix the False Claims Act to Effectively Combat COVID-19 Frauds

Ben Kostyack also contributed to this article.

Copyright Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP 2020. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 213

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About this Author

Mary Jane Wilmoth KKC  managing partner  whistleblower protection, environmental and nuclear industry whistleblowers, Qui Tam/False Claims whistleblowers.
Managing Partner

Mary Jane Wilmoth is the firm’s managing partner, and works closely with the partners at KKC, specializing in environmental and nuclear whistleblower protection, Qui Tam/False Claims litigation, and labor and employment law. She joined the firm in 1992, and works on cases and hearings that involve complex nuclear and environmental regulations. In her efforts to assure such safeguards are upheld in the American workplace, she has helped to strengthen whistleblower rights in licensing and enforcement proceedings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has also defended whistleblowers at...

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