Enacted with the same purpose as the federal False Claims Act, the Illinois False Claims Act creates liability for entities that submit fraudulent claims for payment to the State of Illinois or its municipalities. The basic provisions of the IFCA—the elements of a violation, the potential penalties, and a relator's award for proven violations or settlement recoveries—are substantially similar to the provisions of the FCA and present few surprises to litigants.
In the last two years, however, several Illinois cases have taken a more relator-friendly stance in their interpretation of the statute, especially in relation to one of FCA defendants’ key defenses—the public disclosure bar. This article addresses the key components of the statute, as well as the most frequently used affirmative defenses. It also highlights some of the recent IFCA trends from Illinois case law.