I agree with Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Ohio needs a state false claims act.
In today’s Dayton Daily News the newly elected Attorney General added his support to the support of of Ohio’s last 4 Attorneys General who all supported such legislation.
As an Ohio Senator I co-sponsored legislation to create a State False Claims Act. But it is when I became Attorney General that I fully appreciated the importance of this tool, that most states and the U.S. Government have to root out fraud and corruption in government contracting, from medicaid fraud to the purchase of supplies.
Ohio is one of the largest states in the United States without a State False Claims Act. For years lobbyists for nursing homes, hospitals, doctors and the construction industry have blocked efforts to enact a state false claims act.
A state False Claims act would allow individual citizen whistleblowers to bring forward evidence of fraud against the government and if the State is successful in recovering damages, the whistleblower would be eligible to receive a “bounty” or percentage of the money collected on behalf of the state.
The Federal False Claims Act, in one form or another has been working successfully since the Civil War. A recently enacted SEC Whistleblower law has immediately yielded impressive results. Reuter’s reports today that tips to the SEC have skyrocketed after the enactment of a False Claims process.
Its time for Ohio’s General Assembly to stand up to those entrenched special interests and create a mechanism for Ohio Citizens to identify and prosecute fraud against the state government.
Ohio is already being penalized in the Medicaid recoveries made under the Federal False Claims act because it has not enacted its own Qui Tam Statute.