by Ben Vernia | July 10th, 2014
On July 3, U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak denied a landlord’s motion to dismiss its tenant’s False Claims Act case, which alleged fraud in connection with the tenant’s Section 8(a) subsidized rental of her home. The tenant alleged (in the whistleblower suit in which the government declined to intervene) that despite signing a lease approved by the region’s housing authority calling for a certain rental payment and for the landlord to pay water and sewage bills, her landlord insisted – upon threat of eviction – that she pay more than the agreed amount and also pay for those utilities.
Judge Hornak, applying the recent Third Circuit decision in Foglia concerning the standard for satisfying Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b), concluded that the tenant had sufficiently alleged the landlord’s specific certifications in its agreement (including the fact that it was receiving no other payments for the rental – such as the supplements it demanded the tenant pay), and that the tenant need allege only the details of the scheme, and was not required to allege specific documents submitted by the landlord to receive payments.