This week’s Department of Justice “catch of the week” goes to DRS Technical Services Inc. Last Tuesday, the Virginia based telecommunications services provider agreed to pay $13.7 million to settle charges it violated the False Claims Act by overbilling the government for work performed by DRS personnel who lacked the job qualifications required by the company’s government contract. See DOJ Press Release. DRS designs, integrates, operates and maintains satellite and wireless network solutions and telecommunication services and security systems for government and private sector customers. It is a subsidiary of DRS Defense Solutions LLC.
Between March 2003 and December 2012, DRS had time and materials contracts to provide services and supplies to the US Army’s Communication and Electronics Command (CECOM) in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the US Coast Guard for aircraft maintenance. According to the government, DRS billed CECOM under these contracts for work performed by individuals whose job qualifications did not meet the contract requirements, thereby falsely increasing the amount of money DRS claimed and CECOM paid. The government similarly claimed DRS charged the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Center for work performed by non-qualifying individuals, again inflating the cost of the services provided.
The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU) and the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service. “This settlement is yet another example of the tenacity and hard work of our Army CID agents,” said MPFU Director Frank Robey. “It is a testament to MPFU’s continued resolve to hold companies accountable for the work they do for the U.S. government.”
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