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Bribery and Bid-Rigging

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to bribery and bid rigging in U.S. government contracting. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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November 3, 2020

Illinois-based charter school management company Concept Schools, NFP, will pay $4.5 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by rigging the bidding process for E-Rate contracts with its network of charter schools between 2009 and 2012 so that its preferred technology vendors received contract awards, despite the fact that they provided equipment at higher prices than those approved by the FCC for equipment with the same functionality.  DOJ

August 6, 2020

South Carolina-based consumer loan company World Acceptance Corporation has been ordered to pay $21 million to resolve allegations of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  According to the SEC, the company’s former Mexican subsidiary, WAC de Mexico S.A. de C.V., paid more than $4 million in bribes to Mexican officials from 2010 to 2017 in order to secure the ability to make loans to government employees, then recorded the payments as legitimate business expenses.  SEC

June 22, 2020

A former employee of Schneider Electric Buildings America, Bhaskar Patel, has been sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to forfeit over $2.5 million in connection with a five-year bribery scheme involving several federal energy savings performance contracts.  Patel had pleaded guilty to soliciting and receiving over $2.5 million in bribes from eight Schneider subcontractors on the contracts, which included a $24.7 million project for the USDA in California, two projects amounting to $34.4 million for the GSA in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, a $42.4 million project for the VA in the Northeast, a $70 million project for the Coast Guard in Puerto Rico, and a $114.3 million project for the Navy in California.  USAO VT

June 10, 2020

Alutiiq International Solutions LLC (AIS), an Alaskan Native Corporation and government contractor, has agreed to pay $1.25 million and enter into a non-prosecution agreement to settle allegations of violating the Anti-Kickback Act in connection with a multi-million dollar General Services Administration (GSA) contract to modernize the Harry S. Truman Federal Building in Washington, D.C.  Beginning in 2010, a project manager formerly employed by AIS allegedly accepted kickbacks from a subcontractor in exchange for steering more work to the subcontractor, while also fraudulently billing GSA for a non-existent on-site supervisor and overinflating costs from its subcontractor.  AIS and its parent company, Afognak Native Corporation, cooperated fully with the investigation and have since engaged in extensive remedial actions.  DOJ

June 10, 2020

A South Korean engineering company has been ordered to pay $68 million in criminal fines, civil penalties, and restitution after pleading guilty to defrauding the U.S. Army in a 2008 contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  According to the press release, SK Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. (SK) submitted documents to the Army that were doctored to conceal $2.6 million in payments to a fake construction company that had bribed an Army Corps of Engineers official on SK’s behalf.  The company also took steps to hamper investigations by U.S. and Korean officials by withholding and destroying relevant documents, attempting to tamper with a potential witness, and failing to properly discipline the employees involved with the bribery scheme.  SK was suspended from participating in certain contracts with the U.S. government in 2017; with this plea agreement, it will undergo another three years of probation.  DOJ

Antitrust Violations, COVID-19, and the False Claims Act

Posted  04/23/20
By Leah Judge
whistle hanging on rope
As the federal government spends trillions of dollars to fight the coronavirus pandemic and alleviate its economic fallout, we can expect to see large chunks of that money misused and misappropriated by bad actors.  Now more than ever, we’ll need whistleblowers to come forward to report what they see on the ground, whether it’s an unqualified company seeking Paycheck Protection Program funds intended for small...

In Norway, the Cozy World of Finance Collides with the Public Interest

Posted  04/22/20
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
piece-of-the-pie
Norway is often held up as the exception to the so-called “resource curse”—a successful, well-managed country that has managed to escape the corruption and inequality so often rife in other oil-rich nations.  An emerging scandal involving the $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, a Sting concert, and a private jet known as the “Crystal Skye” is now threatening that reputation. Last September, Yngve...

April 8, 2020

The last defendant in a conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices for supply fuel to U.S. military bases in South Korea has agreed to pay $2 million to resolve civil claims under Section 4A of the Clayton Act and the False Claims Act.  The government’s investigation into all defendants, including Jier Shin Korea Co. Ltd. and its president, Sang Joo Lee, were instigated by a whistleblower and resulted in a previous settlement of over $205 million.  As part of the settlement, Jier Shin and Lee have agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation and abide by an antitrust compliance program.  DOJ

Catch of the Week: Hybrid Tech pays $29 Million to Resolve Claims of Collusive Bidding on Sale of Energy Department Loan in Case Brought by Creditors

Posted  02/6/20
Gavel close-up
Our Catch of the Week arises out of misconduct in a corporate restructuring, features a unique whistleblower, and resulted in a $29 million recovery by the government. The defendants, Hybrid Tech Holdings, LLC and related entities, were alleged to have rigged bids in a government auction of a loan made to Fisker Automotive under the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan...
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