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$33.1 Basis and purpose.

(a) Basis. This part implements the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-509, 6101 through 6104, 100 Stat. 16674 (October 21, 1986), to be codified at 31 U.S.C. 3801 through 3812. This law (31 U.S.C. 3809) requires each Federal department head to promulgate regulations necessary to implement the provisions of the statute.

(ii) Provided any portion of the funds for the purchase of the property or services; or

(iii) Will reimburse the recipient or party for the purchase of the property or services; or

(2) For the payment of money (including money representing grants, cooperative agreements, loans, insurance, or benefits) if the United States:

(i) Provided any portion of the money requested or demanded;

(ii) Will reimburse the recipient or party for any portion of the money paid on that request or demand; or

(iii) Will guarantee or reinsure any portion of a loan made by the party; or

(c) Made to the Department which has the effect of decreasing an obligation to pay or account for property, services, or money.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

(b) Purpose. This part:

(1) Establishes administrative procedures for imposing civil penalties and assessments against persons who make, submit, or present, or cause to be made, submitted, or presented, false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims or written statements to the Department or to its agents; and

(2) Specifies the hearing and appeal rights of persons subject to allegations of liability for those penalties and assessments.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(a)(3))

Complaint means the administrative complaint served by the reviewing official on the defendant under 8 33.7.

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Government means the United States Government.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Individual means a natural person.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

Claim means any request, demand, or submission:

(a) Made to the Department for property, services, or money (including money representing grants, cooperative agreements, loans, insurance, or benefits);

(b) Made to a recipient of property, services, or money from the Department or to a party to a contract or agreement with the Department:

(1) For property or services if the United States:

(i) Provided the property or services;

Initial decision means the written decision of the ALJ required by $33.10 or $33.37, and includes a revised initial decision issued following a remand or a motion for reconsideration.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(h))

Investigating official means the Inspector General of the Department or an officer or employee of the Office of

the Inspector General designated by the Inspector General and serving in a position for which the rate of basic pay is not less than the minimum rate of basic pay for grade GS-16 under the General Schedule.

(c) Serving in a position for which the rate of basic pay is not less than the minimum rate of basic pay for grade GS-16 under the General Schedule.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(8))

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(4)(A)(i))

Knows or has reason to know, means that a person, with respect to a claim or statement:

(a) Has actual knowledge that the claim or statement is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;

(b) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the claim or statement; or

(c) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the claim or statement.

Statement means any representation, certification, affirmation, document, record, or accounting or bookkeeping entry made:

(a) With respect to a claim or to obtain the approval or payment of a claim (including relating to eligibility to make a claim); or

(b) With respect to including relating to eligibility for):

(1) A contract with, or a bid or proposal for a contract with; or

(2) A grant, cooperative agreement, loan, or benefit from; The Department, or any State, political subdivision of a State, or other party, if the United States Government provides any portion of the money or property under the contract or for the grant, loan, cooperative agreement, or benefit, or if the Government will reimburse or reinsure the State, political subdivision, or party for any portion of the money or property under the contract or for the grant, cooperative agreement, loan, or benefit.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(5))

Makes includes the terms presents, submits, and causes to be made, presented, or submitted.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a))

Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or private organization.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(a)(6))

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(9))

$33.3 Basis for civil penalties and as

sessments.

Representative means:

(a) An attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of any State, territory, possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; or

(b) Any other person designated by a party in writing, provided that the designation includes a certification that the party understands the nature and consequences of an administrative enforcement action under this part, and that he or she has the right to representation by counsel or to self-representation.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(g)(2)(F))

(a) Claims. (1) Any person who makes a claim that the person knows or has reason to know:

(i) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;

(ii) Includes or is supported by any written statement which asserts a material fact which is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;

(iii) Includes or is supported by any written statement that:

(A) Omits a material fact;

(B) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent as a result of such omission; and

(C) Is a statement in which the person making such statement has a duty to include such material fact; or

(iv) Is for payment for the provision of property or services which the person has not provided as claimed; shall be subject, in addition to any other remedy that may be prescribed

Reviewing official means the General Counsel of the Department or his or her designee who is:

(a) Not subject to supervision by, or required to report to, the investigating official; and

(b) Not employed in the organizational unit of the Department in which the investigating official is employed; and

acting for or on behalf of the Department.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(2))

(C) No proof of specific intent to defraud is required to establish liability under this section.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3801(5))

(d) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person is liable for making a claim or statement under this section, each of those persons may be held liable for a civil penalty under this section.

by law, to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each claim.

(2) Each voucher, invoice, claim form, or other individual request or demand for property, services, or money constitutes a separate claim.

(3) A claim is considered made to the Department, a recipient, or party when that claim is actually made to an agent, fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or political subdivision thereof, acting for or on behalf of the Department, a recipient, or party.

(4) Each claim for property, services, or money is subject to a civil penalty regardless of whether the property, services, or money is actually delivered or paid.

(5) If the Government has made any payment (including transferred property or provided services) on a claim, a person subject to a civil penalty under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is also subject to an assessment of not more than twice the amount of that claim or that portion thereof that is determined to be in violation of paragraph (a)(1) of this section. The assessment is in lieu of damages sustained by the Government because of that claim.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a))

(e) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person is liable for making a claim under this section of which the Government has made payment (including transferred property or provided services), an assessment may be imposed against any of those persons or jointly and severally against any combination of those persons.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1); 3809)

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(a)(1))

(b) Statements. (1) Any person who makes a written statement that:

(i) The person knows or has reason to know:

(A) Asserts a material fact which is false, fictitious, or fraudulent; or

(B) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent because it omits a material fact that the person making the statement has a duty to include in the statement; and

(ii) Contains or is accompanied by an express certification or affirmation of the truthfulness and accuracy of the contents of the statement; shall be subject, in addition to any other remedy that may be prescribed by law, to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each statement.

(2) Each written representation, certification, or affirmation constitutes a separate statement.

(3) A statement is considered made to the Department when the statement is actually made to an agent, fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or political subdivision thereof,

$33.4 Investigation.

(a) If an investigating official concludes that a subpoena pursuant to the authority conferred by 31 U.S.C. 3604(a) is warranted:

(1) The subpoena so issued must notify the person to whom it is addressed of the authority under which the subpoena is issued and must identify the records or documents sought;

(2) The investigating official may designate a person to act on his or her behalf to receive the documents sought; and

(3) The person receiving the subpoena is required to tender to the investigating official or the person designated to receive the documents a certification that the documents sought have been produced, or that the documents are not available and the reasons therefore, or that the documents, suitably identified, have been withheld based upon the assertion of an identified privilege. (Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3804(a)) (

(b) If the investigating official concludes that an action under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act may be

ing that the person may be unable to pay such an amount.

warranted, the investigating official shall submit a report containing the findings and conclusions of the investigation to the reviewing official.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(2); 3809(2))

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(1))

(c) Nothing in this section precludes or limits an investigating official's discretion to refer allegations directly to the Department of Justice for suit under the False Claims Act or other civil relief, or to defer or postpone a report or referral to the reviewing official to avoid interference with a criminal investigation or prosecution.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809)

(d) Nothing in this section modifies any responsibility of an investigating official to report violations of criminal law to the Attorney General.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a)(1))

$33.6 Prerequisites for issuing a com

plaint. (a) The reviewing official may issue a complaint under $33.7 only if

(1) The Department of Justice approves the issuance of a complaint in a written statement described in 31 U.S.C. 3803(b)(1); and

(2) In the case of allegations of liability under $33.3(a) with respect to a claim, the reviewing official determines that, with respect to that claim or a group of related claims submitted at the same time the claim is submitted (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section), the amount of money or the value of property or services demanded or requested in violation of $33.3(a) does not exceed $150,000.

(b) For the purposes of this section, a related group of claims submitted at the same time includes only those claims arising from the same transaction (e.g., grant, cooperative agreement, loan, application, or contract) that are submitted simultaneously as part of a single request, demand, or submission.

(C) Nothing in this section may be construed to limit the reviewing official's authority to join in a single complaint against a person claims that are unrelated or were not submitted simultaneously, regardless of the amount of money, or the value of property or services, demanded or requested.

$ 33.5 Review by the reviewing official.

(a) If, based on the report of the investigating official under $33.4(b), the reviewing official determines that there is adequate evidence to believe that a person is liable under $33.3 of this part, the reviewing official transmits to the Attorney General a written notice of the reviewing official's intention to issue a complaint under $33.7.

(b) The notice must include

(1) A statement of the reviewing official's reasons for issuing a complaint;

(2) A statement specifying the evidence that supports the allegations of liability;

(3) A description of the claims or statements upon which the allegations of liability are based;

(4) An estimate of the amount of money or the value of property, services, or other benefits requested or demanded in violation of $33.3;

(5) A statement of any exculpatory or mitigating circumstances that may relate to the claims or statements known by the reviewing official or the investigating official; and

(6) A statement that there is a reasonable prospect of collecting an appropriate amount of penalties and assessments. Such a statement may be based upon information then known or an absence of any information indicat

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(b), (c))

$33.7 Complaint.

(a) On or after the date the Department of Justice approves the issuance of a complaint in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3803(b)(1), the reviewing official may serve a complaint on the defendant, as provided in $33.8.

(b) The complaint must state:

(1) The allegations of liability against the defendant, including the statutory basis for liability, an identification of the claims or statements that are the basis for the alleged liability, and the reasons why liability allegedly arises from those claims or statements;

(2) The maximum amount of penalties and assessments for which the defendant may be held liable;

(3) Instructions for filing an answer to request a hearing, including a specific statement of the defendant's right to request a hearing by filing an answer and to be represented by a representative; and

(4) That failure to file an answer within 30 days of service of the complaint will result in the imposition of the maximum amount of penalties and assessments without right to appeal, as provided in $33.10.

(c) At the same time the reviewing official serves the complaint, he or she shall serve the defendant with a copy of the regulations in this part.

(4) Shall state the name, address, and telephone number of the person authorized by the defendant to act as defendant's representative, if any.

(C) If the defendant is unable to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section within the time provided, the defendant may, before the expiration of 30 days from service of the complaint, file with the reviewing official a general answer denying liability and requesting a hearing, and a request for an extension of time within which to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. The reviewing official shall file promptly with the ALJ the complaint, the general answer denying liability, and the request for an extension of time as provided in $33.11 for good cause shown, the ALJ may grant the defendant up to 30 additional days within which to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(a))

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3803(d)(2), 3809)

answer.

$ 33.8 Service of complaint.

(a) Service of a complaint must be made by certified or registered mail or by delivery in any manner authorized by Rule 4(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Service is complete upon receipt.

(b) Proof of service, stating the name and address of the person on whom the complaint was served, and the manner and date of service, may be made by:

(1) Affidavit of the individual serving the complaint by delivery;

(2) An acknowledged United States Postal Service return receipt card; or

(3) Written acknowledgment of receipt by the defendant or his representative.

(Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3802(d))

$33.9 Answer.

$33.10 Default upon failure to file an

. (a) If the defendant does not file an answer within the time prescribed in $33.9(a), the reviewing official may refer the complaint to the ALJ.

(b) Upon the referral of the complaint, the ALJ shall promptly serve on defendant in the manner prescribed in $33.8, a notice that an initial decision will be issued under this section.

(c) The ALJ shall assume the facts alleged in the complaint to be true and, if those facts establish liability under $33.3, the ALJ shall issue an initial decision imposing the maximum amount of penalties and assessments allowed under the statute.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in this section, by failing to file a timely answer the defendant waives any right to further review of the penalties and assessments imposed under paragraph (c) of this section, and the initial decision becomes final and binding upon the parties 30 days after it is issued.

(e) If, before such an initial decision becomes final, the defendant files a motion with the ALJ seeking to reopen on the grounds that extraordinary circumstances prevented the defendant

(a) The defendant may request a hearing by filing an answer with the reviewing official within 30 days of service of the complaint. An answer is deemed to be a request for hearing.

(b) In the answer, the defendant:

(1) Shall admit or deny each of the allegations of liability made in the complaint;

(2) Shall state any defense on which the defendant intends to rely;

(3) May state any reasons why the defendant contends that the penalties and assessments should be less than the statutory maximum; and

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