FRANKFORT — A bill was filed Tuesday that would reward whistle blowers who help the state recover millions of dollars lost to fraud.
House Bill 401 would encourage people to root out fraud in all government contracts, including the more than $6 billion Medicaid program. The measure would allow people to turn over evidence to prosecutors and receive a portion of the money recovered. It also would allow the state to recover triple damages from a company that defrauds the state.
The federal False Claims Act allows the federal government to go after businesses that knowingly defraud the federal government. Nearly two dozen states also have state false claims acts, but Kentucky doesn't.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, a former attorney general, is the main sponsor of the bill. Stumbo sponsored similar legislation last year that passed the House but died in the Senate. The Senate approved a separate false-claims act bill that applied only to Medicaid providers.
Under Stumbo's proposal, whistle blowers could get 15 percent to 30 percent of the total amount collected.
"There is only so much our law enforcement and auditing officials can do and a limit to how far they can reach; this will put every citizen on the lookout for fraud," Stumbo said.
The bill will be referred to a committee and is expected to be approved again by the House.