FALSE CLAIMS ACT: “Know Your Rights” with Attorney Jeff Vastola:
Does it make you angry when you hear stories about people getting State benefits that really don’t qualify? Well, if you have proof that the claim is fraudulent, or if it was based on false information, there is something you can do about it.
Florida Statute 68.081 is entitled the Florida False Claims Act and it allows both the Department of Financial Services and you to bring a civil lawsuit against a violator. The Statute sets forth what constitutes a violation in section 68.082, and 68.083 is where you can find your rights to bring a lawsuit in the name of the State of Florida if you have proof of a violation.
So what’s in it for you, you ask? If the State does not take over the action, which it has the right to do, you can proceed with the lawsuit and reap the benefits of justice. In a case such as this, that includes the potential for an award of up to three times the amount of benefits fraudulently obtained. Before you go running to the courthouse, bear in mind that all lawsuits carry risk and our court system is already bogged down so make sure if you intend to use this law you are doing it for the right reason.
I’m attorney Jeff Vastola, and now you Know Your Rights.