February 1, 2016
Florida-based military contractor Centerra Services International Inc.
(formerly known as Wackenhut Services
) agreed to pay $7.4 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by double billing and inflating labor costs on its firefighting and fire protection services contract with the Army in Iraq. According to the government, Wackenhut inflated its labor costs by billing the salaries of certain managers as direct costs when those salaries had already been charged as indirect costs. The government further charged that Wackenhut artificially inflated its labor rate by counting its costs for holidays, vacation, sick leave, rest and recuperation and other variable labor costs twice in calculating the rate. The allegations first arose in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Gary W. Reno under the qui tam
provisions of the False Claims Act. He will receive a whistleblower award of $1,332,000 as his share from the government’s recovery. Whistleblower Insider