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Certifications

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to certifications as a basis for liability in whistleblower litigation. You may also be interested in our pages:

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January 5, 2022

A Kansas-based contractor who illegally obtained $346 million in contracts set aside for service-disabled veterans and certified minorities has been sentenced to a little over two years in prison and ordered to forfeit over $5.5 million.  Between 2009 and 2018, defendant Matthew McPherson was awarded approximately 199 federal contracts, upon which he was paid approximately $335 million, through Zieson Construction Company, which was nominally owned by an African-American service-disabled veteran.  When the company grew too large to compete for small business contracts, McPherson used an employee’s Native American minority status to set up Simcon Corp in order to obtain additional contracts.  USAO WDMO

December 14, 2021

Michigan-based Metna Co., a research and development firm which had contracts with the U.S. Army, has agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve claims that in improperly concealed its use of foreign nationals on Army Small Business Innovation Research contracts.  The government alleged that Metna employed foreign graduate students on F-1 student visas, misrepresenting their work to their university and paying them substantially less than the hourly labor rate that Metna quoted to the Army in its contract budget proposals.  USAO WD MI

December 1, 2021

The former CFO of Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc., Peter R. Armbruster, has been sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a complex accounting fraud scheme that resulted in the company filing materially false statements with the SEC, and eventually tens of millions of dollars in losses to investors.  Armbruster was found to have misrepresented Roadrunner’s expenses, which falsely inflated the company’s reported income.  DOJ

Catch of the Week: Archdiocese of New Orleans pays $1 million to Resolve Katrina-Related Allegations, Highlighting Importance of Enforcement in Disaster Recovery Fraud

Posted  11/19/21
New Orleans Jackson Square
We’ve covered this before: natural disasters and fraud against the government often go hand in hand. The government, through agencies and programs such the FEMA and the federally-backed flood and crop insurance programs, can distribute enormous sums of money very quickly in the wake of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and the like. Distributing lots of money quickly after natural disasters gets immediate help to...

November 15, 2021

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans will pay $1.05 million to resolve allegations that it falsely certified damage description and repair estimates in connection with claims for federal funds for the repair of facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  Claims against federal contractor AECOM, which prepared the estimates, are continuing.  The Archdiocese is in bankruptcy, and the settlement amount is based on an “ability to pay” determination.  The action was initiated by the filing of a whistleblower complaint by AECOM employee Robert Romero, who will receive a whistleblower award of approximately $200,000.  DOJ; USAO EDLA  See earlier settlement

November 1, 2021

Geisinger Community Health Services, based in Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay over $18.5 million to resolve its liability following a self-disclosure of violations of the False Claims Act.  The violations occurred between 2012 and 2017 and involved physician certifications of terminal illness, patient elections of hospice care, and physician face-to-face encounters with home health patients.  USAO MDPA

September 21, 2021

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), East Carolina University (ECU), and the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (NCCV), have agreed to pay a combined $842,500 to resolve allegations of fraud in connection with the AmeriCorps program.  An investigation by the United States had found that UNC-CH, ECU, and NCCV failed to comply with multiple grant requirements and regulations, including falsely certifying the service hours worked by AmeriCorps members, falsely certifying employee salaries required to administer the program, and failing to maintain proper internal controls.  USAO EDNC

September 2, 2021

Jonathan Dean Davis, the owner of for-profit trade school called Retail Ready Career Center, has agreed to forfeit over $72 million after being convicted of defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  According to evidence presented at trial, Davis falsely certified that he was not personally facing any criminal or civil actions, and that his school was an established, financially-secure educational institution—neither of which were true.  The scheme unraveled after student veterans realized the HVAC training they received at the school was insufficient for entry-level jobs in the industry.  USAO NDTX; subsequent sentencing

September 1, 2021

The Van Andel Research Institute has agreed to pay $1.1 million to resolve allegations of failing to disclose foreign ties in awards granted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in violation of the False Claims Act.  The foreign ties included foreign-sourced research samples and funding by the Chinese government.  In December 2019, the institute settled similar claims for $5.5 million.  With this second settlement, specific conditions have now been imposed on the remainder of the institute’s NIH grants, including a requirement that an executive-level manager personally certify to disclosures until October 2022.  USAO WDMI

August 3, 2021

Trucking operator Complete Logistics Company, LLC (CLC) has agreed to a $2.38 million settlement to resolve allegations of falsely certifying compliance with California’s emissions regulations in order to obtain $2.2 million in state grants under the state’s Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program, which incentivizes trucking companies to reduce emissions by offering grants for newer, cleaner trucks.  The alleged misconduct occurred during a health-related absence by CLC’s owner; upon the owner’s return in 2017, immediate remedial measures were taken.  CA AG
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