§ 9-1.1-3. Liability for certain acts.
(a) Any person who:
(1) Knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
(2) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim;
(3) Conspires to commit a violation of subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), or (a)(7);
(4) Has possession, custody, or control of property or money used, or to be used, by the state and knowingly delivers, or causes to be delivered, less property than all of that money or property;
(5) Is authorized to make or deliver a document certifying receipt of property used, or to be used, by the state and, intending to defraud the state, makes or delivers the receipt without completely knowing that the information on the receipt is true;
(6) Knowingly buys, or receives as a pledge of an obligation or debt, public property from an officer or employee of the state, or a member of the guard, who lawfully may not sell or pledge the property; or
(7) Knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state, or knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the state; is liable to the state for a civil penalty in an amount equal to the civil penalty set forth in the Federal False Claims Act, following the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Agreement Act of 1990 (31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)), Pub. L. No. 101-410 section 5, 104 Stat. 891, note following 28 U.S.C. § 2461, as amended and annually adjusted by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015, plus three (3) times the amount of damages the state sustains because of the act of that person. A person violating this subsection (a) shall also be liable to the state for the costs of a civil action brought to recover any penalty or damages.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) "Claim" means any request or demand, whether under a contract or otherwise, for money or property and whether or not the state has title to the money or property, that:
(i) Is presented to an officer, employee, or agent of the state; or
(ii) Is made to a contractor, grantee, or other recipient, if the money or property is to be spent or used on the state's behalf or advance a state program or interest, and if the state:
(A) Provides or has provided any portion of the money or property requested or demanded; or
(B) Will reimburse the contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property that is requested or demanded; and
(iii) Does not include requests or demands for money or property that the state has paid to an individual as compensation for state employment or as an income subsidy with no restrictions on that individual's use of the money or property;
(2) "Knowing" and "knowingly" means that a person with respect to information:
(i) Has actual knowledge of the information;
(ii) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information;
(iii) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information; and
(iv) Requires no proof of specific intent to defraud;
(3) "Material" means having a natural tendency to influence, or be capable of influencing, the payment or receipt of money or property; and
(4) "Obligation" means an established duty, whether or not fixed, arising from an express or implied contractual, grantor-grantee, or licensor-licensee relationship, from a fee-based or similar relationship, from statute or regulation, or from the retention of any overpayment.
This section does not apply to claims, records, or statements made under the Rhode Island personal income tax law contained in chapter 30 of title 44.
(P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 18, §§ 1, 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 311, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 391, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 155, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 257, § 1.)