§9-7-6. Civil remedies; statute of limitations.

(a) Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity which makes or attempts to make, or causes to be made, a claim for benefits, payments, or allowances under the medical programs of the department, when the person, firm, corporation, or entity knows, or reasonably should have known, such claim to be false, fictitious, or fraudulent, or fails to maintain such records as are necessary shall be liable to the department in an amount equal to three times the amount of such benefits, payments, or allowances to which he or she or it is not entitled, and shall be liable for the payment of reasonable attorney fees and all other fees and costs of litigation.

(b) No criminal action or indictment need be brought against any person, firm, corporation, or other entity as a condition for establishing civil liability hereunder.

(c) A civil action under this section may be prosecuted and maintained on behalf of the department by the Attorney General, the Attorney General’s assistants, or by any attorney in contract with or employed with the Office of the Attorney General to provide such representation. If the Attorney General declines to do so, the civil action shall be maintained either by a prosecuting attorney and the prosecuting attorney’s assistants or by any attorney in contract with or employed by the department to provide such representation.

(d) Any civil action brought under this section shall be brought within five years from the time the false, fraudulent, or fictitious claim was made. Claims will be judged based on the Medicaid or program rules in existence at the time of the claim submission.