In an earlier post, I discussed a few basic common sense things that state and local governments can do to cut down on fraud. Among those suggestions was to have a state false claims act, and then to make sure that the state Attorney General has a special affirmative civil enforcement unit.
For the most part, the real bread and butter work of a state AG is defensive in nature. As a result, many state AGs are simply not set up to handle affirmative civil enforcement–or at least not affirmative civil enforcement of this nature. It is also true that some lawyers who excel at defense work can’t make the leap to plaintiff’s work.
So without a doubt, a special unit is needed to investigate and prosecute cases under the state claims Act.
In order for an AG’s office to set up a special unit to prosecute these cases it becomes necessary for the AG to find a new source of funding. Virginia does not have a special unit set up to handle affirmative civil enforcement of Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act cases, although such a proposal is, I believe, on the table.