Maryland Expands its False Claims Act

Posted by Jaime Jones and Bevin Seifert

On May 12, 2015, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law Senate Bill 374, an expansion of the Maryland False Claims Act (“MFCA”), which took effect on June 1, 2015. The prior version of the MFCA was limited to Medicaid and healthcare-related fraud, whereas the new law covers any claims made to the state or to local government.

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, according to a press release from his office, made passage of the MFCA his top priority for the 2015 legislative session. He has described the MFCA as an opportunity for the state to “recoup millions” and “incentivize” whistleblowers. However, while the MFCA increases protections for whistleblowers, it does not allow qui tam relators to continue the litigation if the government declines to intervene. It remains to be seen whether this limitation will temper the enthusiasm of Maryland’s potential whistleblowers.

A copy of the MFCA is available here.