Section 5A: False claims; definitions applicable to Secs. 5A to 5O
Section 5A. As used in sections 5A to 5O, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:--
''Claim'', a request or demand, whether pursuant to a contract or otherwise, for money or property, whether or not the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof has title to the money or property, that: (1) is presented to an officer, employee, agent or other representative of the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof; or (2) is made to a contractor, subcontractor, grantee or other person, if the money or property is to be spent or used on behalf of or to advance a program or interest of the commonwealth or political subdivision thereof and if the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof: (i) provides or has provided any portion of the money or property which is requested or demanded; or (ii) will reimburse directly or indirectly such contractor, subcontractor, grantee or other person for any portion of the money or property which is requested or demanded. A claim shall not include requests or demands for money or property that the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof has paid to an individual as compensation for employment with the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof or as an income subsidy with no restrictions on that individual's use of the money or property.
''False claims action'', an action filed by the office of the attorney general or a relator under sections 5A to 5O, inclusive.
''False claims law'', sections 5A to 5O, inclusive.
''Knowing'' or ''knowingly'', possessing actual knowledge of relevant information, acting with deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information or acting in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information; provided, however, that no proof of specific intent to defraud shall be required.
''Material'', having a natural tendency to influence, or be capable of influencing, the payment or receipt of money or property.
''Obligation'', an established duty, whether or not fixed, arising from an express or implied contractual, grantor-grantee or licensor-licensee relationship, from a fee-based or similar relationship, from statute or regulation or from the retention of any overpayment after the deadline for reporting and returning the overpayment under paragraph (10) of section 5B.
''Original source'', an individual who: (1) prior to a public disclosure under paragraph (3) of section 5G, has voluntarily disclosed to the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof the information on which allegations or transactions in a claim are based; or (2) has knowledge that is independent of and materially adds to the publicly- disclosed allegations or transactions, and who has voluntarily provided the information to the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof before filing a false claims action.
''Overpayment'', any funds that a person receives or retains, including funds received or retained under Title XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act, to which the person, after applicable reconciliation, is not entitled.
''Person'', a natural person, corporation, partnership, association, trust or other business or legal entity.
''Political subdivision'', a city, town, county or other governmental entity authorized or created by law, including public corporations and authorities.
''Relator'', an individual who brings an action under paragraph (2) of section 5C.