CS/HB 515, Chapter 2014-119, Laws of Florida, amends section 414.39, Florida Statutes, and requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF), or the Director of DCF’s Office of Public Benefits Integrity (OPBI) to pay a reward to members of the public who provide and report original information relating to a violation of the State's public assistance fraud laws, unless the reward is declined. The reward requirement is subject to availability of funds and may not exceed ten percent (10%) of the amount recovered or $500,000, whichever is less, in a single case. An individual who receives a reward based on a complaint reported through the Public Assistance Fraud Reward Program is not eligible to receive additional rewards through the Florida False Claims Act for Medicaid Fraud.
To be eligible for a reward, the information and report must:
- Be reported by an identifiable member of the public who is at least eighteen (18) years or older;
- Be reported to DCF, Department of Financial Services (DFS), or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE);
- Related to criminal fraud upon public assistance program funds or a criminal violation of public assistance fraud laws by another person ; and
- Must be the original information submitted that leads to the recovery of a fine, penalty, or forfeiture of property.
You will be ineligible for the reward if:
- You have received a reward for providing information about Medicaid fraud pursuant to the Florida False Claims Act;
- You report public assistance fraud and choose to opt out to receive a reward; *
- You want to remain anonymous; *
- Note: Additional restrictions may apply.
* Although you may not be eligible for a reward, we will still process your complaint and evaluate the report for investigative purposes. The process of a complaint moving from submission to investigation and criminal prosecution could take several years to reach a conclusion. There is no guarantee that your complaint will lead to prosecution.