ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT (Chapters 1 through 182)
EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH
DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
Payments to relators; limitations
Section 5F. (1) If the attorney general proceeds with an action brought by a relator pursuant to section 5C, the relator shall receive at least 15 per cent but not more than 25 per cent of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claim depending upon the extent to which the relator substantially contributed to the prosecution of the action.
(2) Where the action is one which the court finds to be based primarily on disclosures of specific information, other than information provided by the relator, relating to allegations or transactions in a criminal, civil, or administrative hearing; in a legislative, administrative, auditor or inspector general hearing, audit, or investigation; or from the news media, the court may award such sums as it considers appropriate, but in no case more than 10 per cent of the proceeds, taking into account the significance of the information and the role of the relator bringing the action in advancing the case to litigation.
(3) Any payment to a relator pursuant to this section shall be made only from the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or in settlement of the claim. Any such relator shall also receive an amount for reasonable expenses which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. All such expenses, fees and costs shall be awarded against the defendant.
(4) If the attorney general does not proceed with an action pursuant to section 5C, the relator bringing the action or settling the claim shall receive an amount which the court decides is reasonable for collecting the civil penalty and damages on behalf of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof. The amount shall be not less than 25 per cent nor more than 30 per cent of the proceeds recovered and collected in the action or settlement of the claim, and shall be paid out of such proceeds. The relator shall also receive an amount for reasonable expenses which the court finds to have been necessarily incurred, including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. All such expenses, fees and costs shall be awarded against the defendant.
(5) Whether or not the attorney general proceeds with the action, if the court finds that the action was brought by a relator who planned and initiated the violation of sections 5B to 5O, inclusive, upon which the action was brought, then the court may, to the extent the court considers appropriate, reduce or eliminate the share of the proceeds of the action which the relator would otherwise receive pursuant to this section, taking into account the role of the relator in advancing the case to litigation and any relevant circumstances pertaining to the violation. If the relator bringing the action is convicted of criminal conduct arising from his role in the violation of this section, the relator shall be dismissed from the civil action and shall not receive any share of the proceeds of the action. Such dismissal shall not prejudice the right of the attorney general to continue the action.