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.”
Ben Kostyack also contributed to this article.