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But I Did Not Mean to Cheat![index]

There is no requirement that the false information be used to try to defraud. This is clear from the definitions of what it means to knowingly present false information:

"...[t]he terms "knowing" and "knowingly" mean that a person, with respect to information--
	(1) has actual knowledge of the information;
	(2) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or
	(3) acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information,
and no proof of specific intent to defraud is required."

It is enough that the information is false and is part of the claim. It might even only be false in a technical sense, and be included with the best of intentions. For example, it is very common to do preliminary experiments on new ideas that are beyond the scope of one's existing grant. This preliminary information is then used to formulate the next grant application.

Such prospective work is necessary to maintain an uninterrupted flow of funds to the laboratory. It also potentially violates the FCA for both the new and the old grant. If you spend money on anything that is not authorized in your grant, then the grant becomes a false claim because you are not complying with its terms. It is analogous to shipping bad rations on a prospective pay contract. Such prospective work can start to look like intentional fraud if you do an end of grant report and do not mention it.

Asking for money to do research you have already done is a false claim in two ways. First, if you do not repeat the work, you have not delivered your rations to the soldiers. The fact that you gave them some rations paid for with someone else's money does not matter. If you do repeat the work, you have misrepresented its significance by creating the impression that the granting agency is funding new research, rather than work to confirm a previous result.

Next - What Is the Penalty?
Previous - When is a Claim False?

 


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