Limit to the FCA’s reach

Characterizing the False Claims Act as “a statute that shadows every aspect of the administrative state,” the Fifth Circuit decided in United States ex rel. Shupe v. Cisco Systems, Inc. this issue: “[W]hen the Government ‘provides any portion of’ requested money” so as to trigger its protections.  No. 13-40807 (July 7, 2014).  After an extensive review of the statute and precedent, the Court concluded: “[That the FCC maintains regulatory supervision over the E-Rate program does not affect the Congress’ decision, embodied in the program’s independent structure, to externalize the cost of administering the program to a private entity.  Because there are not federal funds involved in the program, and USAC [an independent nonprofit charged with its administration] is not itself a government entity, we agree that the Government does not ‘provide[] any portion of’ the requested money under the FCA.”

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