Articles Tagged with government contract fraud law firm

Last week, we flag2wrote about the importance of the False Claims Act as a tool for fighting defense contract fraud.  This week, we continue that discussion by focusing on a case that we touched upon in last week’s post.  This case stands out as particularly egregious of allegations that, if true, could have cost countless military members their lives.  It is an important example of the type of military contract fraud that honest whistleblowers can help bring to an end when they partner with the team at our government contract fraud law firm.

Defense Contractor to Pay $3 Million to Settle Allegations Regarding Ballistic Helmets that Failed Safety Tests

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a press release announcing that ArmorSource, LLC would pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit filed pursuant to the False Claims Act.  As the DOJ explains, the U.S. Army entered into a contract with ArmorSource in 2006 pursuant to which the company was to manufacture Advanced Combat Helmets (“ACHs”).  ACHs are used by soldiers in combat and made out of Kevlar to help provide ballistic protection for the wearer.  According to the government, from 2006 to 2009, ArmorSource provided the Army with ACHs that did not conform to the requirementsoldierss in the government contract and did not meet contract performance standards.  The Army began recalling the ArmorSource helmets in May 2010 after several lots failed ballistic safety tests.

As a small law firm, we are particularly aware of the many contributions that small businesses and small business owners make to our economy.  In our case, we believe being a small firm allows us to have a more personal touch and collaborate more closely with every client while providing top-notch legal services.  There are also unique challenges to running a small business.  One way that the government recognizes these important contributions and special challenges is by requiring that a certain percentage of federal contracts be awarded to small businesses.  Sadly, some companies attempt to lie to the government and the American people by holding themselves out as small businesses when they truly do not qualify as such.  This a form of fraud.  Our government contract fraud lawyer is dedicated to partnering with honest individuals to protect the integrity of small business set-aside programs and ferret out other forms of fraud on the federal government.

Construction Company Pays $5.4 Million to Settle Government Contract Fraud Allegations

Earlier this month, the Times of San Diego reported that a California-based construction company paid $5.4 million to settle allegations of fraudulent billing for work performed at Camp Pendleton and other military bases.  Harper Construction is a privately held company that earns a substantial share of its revenue through government contracts.  As indcontract2icated in the report, Harper had contracts to construct facilities at the military bases and these contracts specifically required that Harper subcontract a specified portion of the work to small disadvantaged businesses.  These requirements stem from government programs intended to ensure that such businesses receive a fair share of federal contract dollars.  According to the article, Harper stood accused of knowingly using sham companies and falsely certifying that it complied with the small business subcontracting requirements.  Instead of having legitimate small businesses perform the work, the lawsuit alleged that Harper actually passed the work to a large affiliate.

The government cash2is, in many ways, a large business.  Given its size and the breadth of its duties, the government relies on individuals and companies for a wide range of goods and services.  However, because of the government’s special position, government contracts often contain clauses unique to agreements between the government and private entities.  When contractors knowingly violate these clauses, they commit fraud.  Government contract fraud is ultimately a fraud on all taxpayers and a way of stealing from already strained coffers needed for important services like education, health care, and national defense.  Our government contract fraud law firm partners with whistleblowers to fight these wrongs.

$11.38 Million Settlement in Case Alleging Government Contract Fraud and Violation of Price Reduction Clause

On May 31, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a press release announcing that Deloitte Consulting LLP (“Deloitte”) has agreed to pay $11.38 million to settle claims it violated a pricing clause in its federal contracts.  According to the government, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) awarded Deloitte a contract in 2000 pursuant to which the consulting company was to provide information technology services.  Under the agreement, if Deloitte offered a lower price to specific commercial customers during the term of the contract, it was also required to reduce to price the company charged the government.  In a lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act, the government alleged that Deloitte violated the price reduction clause between 2006 and 2012 and charged the government more than comparable commercial clients.  It is important to note that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

Readers of this blog know that the False Claims Act and its state equivalents are powerful tools for fighting fraud on the government and, in turn, on taxpayers.  One of the reasons these laws are so powerful is that they cover a wide-range of frauds.  Although health care fraud is likely the most well-known wrong addressed through whistleblower litigation under the Acts, they cover a myriad of different subject matters as demonstrated by a recently settled case out of New York.  While the case is largely about government contracting fraud, it touches on issues two of the most important business issues of recent decades: the outsourcing of American jobs and data privacy.  Our False Claims Act law firm is encouraged to continue to see the power these laws give to ordinary people to tackle extraordinary issues (and, often, win!).

Settlement Filed in Case Against Government Contractor Who Sent Data and Jobs Overseas

Last month, the New York State Attorney General’s Office issued a press release announcing a $3.1 million settlement in a case accusing Focused Technology Imaging Services, LLC (“FTIS”) and two of its leaders of unlawfully outsourcing government-funded work to India.  FTIS, a business located near Albany, entered into a $3.45 million agreementflag2 to digitize and index some 22 million fingerprint cards.  FTIS also agreed to create a searchable database of the print cards for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (“DCJS”) and the non-profit New York State Industries for the Disabled (“NYSID”) in the 2008-2009 timeframe.  The fingerprint cards were used by a range of individuals from state employees to prisoners and arrestees and contained information including Social Security number, the reason for taking the fingerprint, the fingerprint itself, and other important personal information.

Sometimes good organizations, with good missions and many good people on board, do bad things.  A notable example is when a charity or public service group falsifies information with respect to a federal grant or other government support.  It can be hard to speak up against any large organization and it can be even harder in the case of a group you know does good work.  Still, it is important — knowingly falsifying a federal grant application or violating its terms is wrong no matter how well-intentioned the ultimate mission.  As a recent settlement reminds us, making false claims for federal grants, a type of federal grant fraud, is a violation of the False Claims Act and charitable organizations must, like any recipient, obey the terms of government grants and use the money in a responsible manner.  As a law firm for federal grant fraud whistleblowers, we take these cases seriously and believe that ensuring accountability is an important form of protecting taxpayer money.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Pays $1.6 Million to Settle False Claims Charges

On January 21, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a press release announcing that Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (“BBBS”) agreed to pay $1.6 mimoneyrollllion to resolve allegations it made false claims relating to DOJ grants.  BBBS is a national organization with some 300 affiliate agencies that help provide mentoring support to children across the country.  BBBS has received millions of dollars in grant funds since 2004 from the DOJ in order to support programs for at-risk youths.  These grants require that BBBS maintains sound accounting processes and uses financial management systems that comply with federal regulations/guidelines, principles aimed at ensuring grant funds are accounted for and directed toward appropriate purposes.

As we prepare for our upcoming holiday feasts, our thoughts go out to those who are serving our country and are unable to be with their families for the holidays.   We give thanks to them and to their families and hope they all get to enjoy a special meal wherever they may be.  In an ironic twist, one of the latest settlements in the government contracts fraud arena involves a company that agreed to supply produce to our servicepersons.  The allegations are yet another reminder of the very real impact of government fraud, which takes money from taxpayer-funded coffers and, in the case of defense contract fraud, depletes funds needed for our nation’s defense and the protection of those who serve.  We believe those who blow the whistle on government fraud are, like the men and women in the military, true Americans and our defense contract fraud law firm is proud to help.

DOJ Alleges California Company Overcharged for Produce, Violated Defense Contract, and Obstructed Investigation

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that Coast Produce Company (“Coast”), a California company, agreed to pay $4 million to resolve contract fraud allegations.  The settlement applies to both civil and criminal lawsuits alleging False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations and claims Coast obstructed a federal investigation.  Coast also agreed to institute measures to ensure future compliance.  It is important to note that Coast did not admit wrongdoing and the claims in the various suits remain allegations only.

This week, CNN reported on rampant abuse in the federally-funded programs that help provide job opportunities for the severely disabled.  Sadly, the current investigations are just the latest chapter in a series of problems with fraud and abuse in this area.  If the allegations are true, this is yet another example of scammers taking taxpayer money and using it to line their own pockets rather than to support the noble cause for which it was marked.  Fraud in AbilityOne and other government programs is a serious issue and our government contract fraud law firm works with honest whistleblowers to root out these frauds and return funds to these important initiatives.

DoJ Joins Other Agencies Investigating Work Program for the Disabled

CNN reported last week that the Department of Justice (“DoJ”) has joined several other government offices investigating allegations of fraud involving AbilityOne, the leading federally-funded program helping the blind and severely disabled find work, and SourceAmerica, the nonprofit agency that manages the program.  AbilityOne uses contract2some $3 billion of taxpayer money annually to fund contracts nationwide.  In order to hold an AbilityOne contract, blind and/or seriously disabled individuals unable to hold another job must perform 75% or more of the company’s work.