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Constantine Cannon and GAP Collaborate to Form Covid-19 Legislative Team to Help Enact State False Claims Acts

Posted  May 29, 2020
By Edward Baker

As part of the FT Innovative Lawyers Global Legal Hackathon, Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorneys and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) have teamed up to form a Covid-19 Legislative Strike Force Team to help advocate for the enactment or amendment of State False Claims Acts to protect trillions of dollars in state and federal funds now being spent in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Need for State False Claims Acts

The Constantine Cannon and GAP project submission was framed in response to the Global Legal Hackathon challenge, “Whistleblowers as First Responders.”  The need for all states to have a robust State False Claims Act is very real.  Although Congress has earmarked substantial sums of money for Covid-19 stimulus, many states and municipalities are dipping into their own reserves and contributing funds to the relief effort.  With tax revenues plummeting, every government dollar is more precious than ever.  And yet the unprecedented stimulus funding has attracted bad actors, intent on scamming government agencies, businesses, and individuals.  Even unemployment funds and payments to hospitals and nursing homes for testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) have been targeted by fraudulent schemes.

Whistleblowers Can Help Protect State Covid-19 Funds

Whistleblowers with knowledge of Covid-19 fraud can help protect these government funds.  But they need to be empowered, rewarded, and protected when they come forward, because serving as a whistleblower carries significant personal and professional risks.  Although federal funds are protected by the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”), state funds are only protected in those states with a comparable statute.  Currently, as shown on the map below, nineteen states lack any form of a False Claims Act and ten states have a statute that is limited in scope or otherwise inadequate to protect all state Covid-19 stimulus funds.  Now is the time for these twenty-eight states to partner with whistleblowers and their attorneys, a private-public partnership which, since 1986, has already led to the recovery of $44 billion in government funds nationwide.

Map of US Outlining Hackathon State FCAs

Goals of the GAP and Constantine Cannon Legislative Team

The aim of the Constantine Cannon and GAP Covid-19 Legislative Strike Force Team is to draft model legislation, advocate for the enactment of state False Claims Acts, and assist states (and municipalities) with the actual drafting and enactment of such legislation.  With Covid-19 continuing to spread and decimate lives and state economies, there is no time to lose.

Constantine Cannon and GAP welcome requests from states and localities to help draft, amend, or advocate for the enactment of state False Claims Acts.  Please contact a Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorney or one of the Covid-19 Legislative Strike Force Team members directly for more information.

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Tagged in: CC Lawyers, COVID-19, FCA State, Importance of Whistleblowers, Legislation and Regulation News,


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