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In 1863, during the American Civil War, President Lincoln signed into law the Federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729. The Act, which became known as “Lincoln’s Law,” was a desperately needed response to the fraud and profiteering that was hampering the government’s war effort.


Uniforms purchased by the military and delivered to the troops literally dissolved in the rain, barrels of gunpowder were filled with sawdust and lame horses were of little value on the battlefield. The new law rewarded whistleblower/informants for providing information to prosecute the fraudsters responsible for the pilfering.


Since that time, the Federal False Claims Act has become the government’s most effective tool for fighting fraud.


In 1986, the law was updated and rejuvenated to address a series of spending abuse scandals that rocked the Defense Department. The amendments improved the incentives and protections for whistleblowers and eliminated legal barriers that had developed in the case law. The law was amended again in 2010.

As noted by the Supreme Court, the False Claims Act was intended to reach all types of fraud that would result in financial loss to the government.

Examples of fraudulent conduct include:

  • Bid Rigging

  • Kickbacks

  • Disadvantaged Business fraud 

  • Conflicts of Interest 

  • Overcharging or mis-charging of goods or services 

  • Product Substitutions 

  • Bribery

  • Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) violations

  • Defective Testing

  • Cybersecurity Fraud  

  • Other fraud schemes that result in losses to federal programs.