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For purposes of this section, the 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. [emphasis added]
This statute uses knowledge to determine the mens rea. In False Claims Act cases, the government must prove that the defendant "knew" it was submitting claims that were false. While still a challenge for prosecutors, not requiring proof of specific intent makes the government's case easier to litigate. One last comment about the "knowing" standard that is worth making deals with the 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act. As explained by one of the 1986 act's sponsors:
While the Act was not intended to apply to mere negligence, it is intended to apply in situations that could be considered gross negligence where the submitted claims to the Government are prepared in such a sloppy or unsupervised fashion that [it] resulted in overcharges to the Government.
The Anti-kickback Statute and the False Claims Act may appear at first glance to be essentially the same law. While there are some definite similarities between the two, a major difference exists, namely the "qui tam" action provision of the False Claims Act. This action is the subject of the next section's discussion.