Colorado Legislature Introduces the Colorado False Claims Act (CFCA)
January 26th, 2022
For more than a decade Colorado has had the Colorado Medicaid False Claims Act, making it unlawful for persons to submit false claims to Colorado’s Medicaid programs. However, fraud against the state occurs in many other contexts besides Medicaid (e.g., infrastructure contracting, purchase of goods and services, grant awards). On January 21, 2022, the State legislature, led by Representative Matt Gray and Senator Faith Winter, introduced the Colorado False Claims Act (CFCA), expanding Colorado’s ability to combat these other types of fraud on the government Like most state false claims acts, the proposed legislation is largely patterned after the federal False Claims Act, championed by Senator Chuck Grassley. However, the Colorado Act does contain a number of unique provisions and includes retaliation protections for whistleblowers that are broader than the federal statute.
Among other things, the CFCA targets the:
- Submission of false or fraudulent bills to a state or local government;
- Falsification of records; and
- Failure to return money owed to a state or local government.
Expanded retaliation protections proposed for whistleblowers include:
- Specific language protecting individuals when they have a “reasonable belief” of a violation of the CFCA;
- Disclosure of confidential information in furtherance of an action under the CFCA is specifically described as protected conduct; and
- Being “backlisted” can constitute a retaliatory action.
If passed into law, the Colorado False Claims Act would be in addition to the current Colorado Medicaid False Claims Act. That is, claims for payment under the Colorado Medicaid program are specifically excluded from the proposed Colorado False Claims Act.
As an attorney with Halunen Law’s FCA Practice Group who is licensed in Colorado, Nathaniel Smith is determined to bring fraudulent conduct to light, and to justice. Having recovered millions on behalf of whistleblowers in both employment retaliation cases and qui tam whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act (FCA), he is relentless in his pursuit. Learn more about Nathaniel F. Smith.