The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733, is a federal statute that was enacted in 1863 during the Civil War to curb fraud committed by government contractors. The Act penalized individuals who knowingly submitted false claims to the government. Amendments passed in 1986 modernized the law; the efforts to pass the amendments were led by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and former Representative Howard Berman (D-CA). The False Claims Act has been touted as the most important tool for recovering U.S. taxpayer money when individuals submit false claims to the government.