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September 15, 2023

Navmar Applied Sciences Corp. has agreed to pay $4.4 million to resolve allegations of double billing and improperly shifting costs between contracts, in violation of Federal Acquisition Regulations and the False Claims Act.  While under a series of Navy contracts to manufacture, design, and test emerging intelligence technologies, the company double billed for the same costs on two separate contracts, and improperly shifted costs incurred under some contracts to other contracts.  DOJ

August 22, 2023

Reinaldo Vargas-Rodriguez, the former mayor of Humacao, Puerto Rico has been sentenced to over 3 years in prison for accepting bribes from two companies in exchange for awarding them municipal contracts.  According to DOJ, Vargas-Rodriguez accepted $27,000 in cash payments for awarding contracts for paving services and waste disposal.  DOJ

August 10, 2023

Colombian financial services institution Corporación Financiera Colombiana S.A. (Corficolombiana) has agreed to pay over $80 million to resolve foreign bribery investigations by criminal, civil, and administrative authorities in the United States and Colombia.  Between 2012 and 2015, Corficolombiana allegedly conspired with Brazilian-based construction conglomerate Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht) to offer and pay more than $20 million in bribes to Colombian government officials in order to win rights to construct and operate a 328-mile toll road.  As a result, Corficolombiana earned more than $28 million in profits.  Now, in addition to the financial penalties that it will pay—which will be divided between DOJ and SEC—the company will be subject to a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ.  DOJ; SEC

July 21, 2023

In one of the largest procurement fraud settlements in history, defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton has agreed to pay almost $377.5 million to resolve claims of violating the False Claims Act.  According to former employee Sarah Feinberg—who filed a qui tam suit in 2016, and who will receive a nearly $70 million share of the settlement—Booz Allen improperly billed the government for indirect charges that should instead have been billed to commercial and international contracts.  USAO DC

June 29, 2023

Vantage Systems Inc. will receive $1.35 million for blowing the whistle on HX5 LLC, its owner and CEO Margarita Howard, and HX5 Sierra LLC for defrauding the SBA’s 8(a) business development program. Over a seven-year period, from 2015 through 2021, HX5 violated the False Claims Act by knowingly providing false information relating to their eligibility for federal set-aside contracts meant for small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. HX5 and Howard secured 6 contracts by concealing Howard’s assets and failing to report distributions and payments to Howard’s family. DOJ

May 16, 2023

Randall Judge Phelan, a former Tribal government official, will spend 5 years in prison for soliciting bribes and kickbacks from a contractor providing construction services on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, the home of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. For approximately 8 years, from 2013 to 2020, Phelan solicited and accepted bribes and kickbacks totaling more than $645,000. In exchange, Phelan helped the contractor’s business by awarding millions of dollars in contracts, fabricating bids, advocating for the contractor with other Tribal officials, and facilitating the submission and payment of fraudulent invoices. DOJ, USAO ND

May 11, 2023

GCI Communications Corp. has agreed to pay $40 million to resolve a whistleblower case by its former Director of Business Administration, which alleged the company violated the False Claims Act by failing to comply with competitive bidding regulations for the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program.  In order to participate in the program—which awards $570 million in subsidies annually to bring critical telecommunications services to rural healthcare providers—GCI was subject to regulations governing the prices it could charge these providers.  However, GCI charged inflated rates to a provider in Alaska, thereby receiving higher subsidy payments than it was entitled to.  For launching a successful enforcement action, whistleblower Robert Taylor will receive a $6.4 million share of the settlement.  DOJ

April 21, 2023

Keith Alan Seguin, an Air Force civilian employee, will spend 188 months in prison and pay over $39 million in restitution to the Air Force, Army and General Services Administration, and the IRS, and forfeit over $2.3 million that he received in bribe money for colluding with others to evade competition and steer $100 million in government Air Force projects to them. Seguin was charged with making a false income tax return and for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. USAO WDTX

April 19, 2023

Manufacturer Seagate Technology LLC will pay a $300 million penalty to resolve allegations that it violated U.S. export control standards.  As part of the settlement, Seagate admitted that it unlawfully sold millions of hard disk drives, valued at more than $1 billion, to Huawei Technologies in 2020 and 2021, after Huawei became a listed entity, requiring sales to it by U.S. companies to be made by export license, based on a U.S. determination that Huawei was  involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.  Seagate also agreed to ongoing audits by the government.  BIS DOC

April 17, 2023

Bill R. Miller, a construction company owner, will spend 78 months in prison and will pay nearly $1 million in restitution for a bid-rigging and bribery scheme perpetrated against California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Caltrans contract manager and Miller-co-conspirator, Choon Foo “Keith” Yong, pleaded guilty to receiving bribes that included cash, wine, furniture, and remodeling service on his home. Yong will spend 49 months in prison and will pay over nearly $1 million in restitution as well. Miller, Yong, and their co-conspirators sought to corrupt the competitive bidding process to enrich themselves, while wasting taxpayer dollars on contracts not secured through free and fair competition. DOJ, DOJ
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