Articles Tagged with whistleblowers law firm for government contracting fraud

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.

It shouldn’t surprise us anymore, but it’s the type of fraud that surprises anyone who believes in supporting the American dream.  We’ve seen it before and, sadly, we know we’ll see it again – people taking advantage of programs intended to help small businesses succeed, especially businesses run by our country’s veterans and/or historically disadvantaged groups.  We take solace in the people we work with, those who step forward and say, “This isn’t right.” As a law firm for whistleblowers in defense contract fraud cases, we rely on honest individuals to help us fight government set-aside fraud and we are committed to protecting their interests, including ensuring they receive due compensation if their time, effort, and information leads to the recovery of government funds.

Four Charged With SBA Fraud

Last week, the Justice Department announced an indictment formally charging four individuals with defrauding Small Business Administration grant programs to obtain $24 million in unlawful profits.  The SBA operates programs that help businesses owned and controlled by disabled veterans and socially or economically dimoneysadvantaged individuals compete for government contracts.  In order to qualify, the business must be unconditionally owned and controlled by a qualified individual.

In many ways, government procurement contracts are similar to procurement agreements in the private sphere.  The basic elements of all contracts are the same, an offer and acceptance made between two or more competent parties for a legal purpose that creates obligations for both parties (e.g. payment for and the provision of goods/services).  However, the government contract system is much more controlled than the private contracting sphere.  The government contract bidding process is complex, highly-regulated process that relies upon companies filing honest, competitive offers to fill a given need.  Bid rigging is a violation of government trust and a form of government contract fraud.  As a bid rigging whistleblowers’ law firm, the Brod Law Firm partners with individuals who see this fraud happen and step forward to report it.  When fraud occurs in the private sphere, the companies involved can suffer.  When fraud occurs in the government contracting arena, the trust of every American is violated and every taxpayer suffers.

Bid Rigging: Overview and Forms

A useful explanation of bid rigging can be found in a Department of Justice contract2(“DOJ”) primer written to help people identify various forms of collusion among prospective government contractors.  As the primer explains, at a broad level, bid rigging involves competitors conspiring to raise the price of goods/services being purchased by the government.  Bid rigging occurs when competitors agree who will submit the best offer during the bidding process, agreements that eliminate/limit true competition.  In some cases, the collusion involves some, not all, of the bidders for a given project.  Although the primer focuses on antitrust matters, bid rigging can also be a violation of the False Claims Act.

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