contentions concerning the number of times the civil penalty should be imposed are unsupported. Rather, the Court finds, based upon the evidence and the jury verdict, that the $ 2,000 civil penalty should be imposed upon Zan in an amount consistent with the number of false certificates, namely, eight, which the jury determined that Zan presented to the Government. Of significance is the fact that Zan knew that the false certificates "were an essential element in subjecting the Government to a demand for money". ( United States v. Greenberg, 237 F. Supp. 439, 443 [S.D.N.Y. 1965] [Weinfeld, J]. See United States v. Board of Educ., 697 F. Supp. 167, 176 [D.N.J. 1988] ("The reports were all essential elements causing the United States to part with its money. Defendants cannot maintain that any one of these reports had no responsibility for causing the release of [the Government funds]."])
In this case, while there is some dispute as to who prepared the false certifications, there is no dispute that Zan presented them to the Government "to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved". Imposing the civil penalty against Zan eight times, for each false certification which the jury determined it presented, penalizes Zan solely for its own wrongful acts, as Bornstein enunciates.
In its decision on the Government's summary judgment motion in Alsco-Harvard Fraud Litigation, 523 F. Supp. 790, 811 (D.C.D.C. 1981), a case cited by Zan, the court noted that "the statutory term 'claim' should, in order to effect the remedial purposes of the Act, be broadly construed to include 'all fraudulent attempts to cause the Government to pay out sums of money.'" ( Alsco-Harvard Fraud Litigation, supra, 523 F. Supp. 790, 811 [quoting United States v. Neifert-White, 390 U.S. 228, 19 L. Ed. 2d 1061, 88 S. Ct. 959 (1968)].)
The Court affirms the jury's determination that Zan committed eight violations of the False claims Act and directs the entry of judgment on the civil penalty in the sum of $ 16,000. The Court notes that the purposes of the Act are best fulfilled by the imposition of the maximum civil penalty allowed under the statute. To impose this penalty only once, or even three times, would ignore a responsive and proper jury verdict. This penalty was obviously imposed by congress to penalize a military supplier for possibly jeopardizing the lives of military personnel in order to make a profit.
III. Computation of Damages
The law is clear that "the Government's actual damages are to be doubled before any subtractions are made for compensatory payments previously received by the Government from any source." ( United States v. Bornstein, supra, 423 U.S. at p. 316.) The jury determined that the Government sustained actual damages in the amount of $ 26,363.63, which when doubled equals $ 52,727.26. From this amount the Court subtracts the sum of $ 30,000 which the Government received from BFI, for a subtotal sum of $ 22,727.26. To this, the Court adds the civil penalty of $ 16,000, for a total judgment in favor of the Government against Zan in the sum of $ 38,727.26. The Court also awards the Government costs, as provided by the Act.
For the foregoing reasons, based upon the jury verdict and the settlement setoff, the Court awards the Government judgment against the defendant Zan Machine Company, Inc., in the total amount of $ 38,727.26, plus costs. The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of the plaintiff United States against the defendant Zan Machine Company, Inc. in the said sum of $ 38,727.26, plus costs, and is further directed to close this case.
Dated: Uniondale, New York
October 13, 1992
ARTHUR D. SPATT
United States District Judge
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