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Government Procurement Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government contracting and procurement. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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December 4, 2018

The New York law firm of Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., and two firms affiliated with it, have agreed to settle a False Claims Act action alleging that in performing legal work including foreclosure and eviction services for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Veterans Administration, the entities submitted bills for costs that were not actual, reasonable, and necessary.  Instead, the false claims for payment included improper mark-ups and other unauthorized charges.  Defendants will pay a total of $6.1 million to the United States, and have agreed to implement a compliance program.  The case was originally brought by whistleblower Peter D. Grubea.  USAO SDNY

Catch of the Week — Bottini Fuel Busted for Illegal “Family and Friends” Scheme

Posted  11/30/18
Bottini Fuel, a fuel and heating company based in New York, has agreed to a $3.3M settlement to resolve allegations that it defrauded customers by keeping rather than returning overpayments. For over a decade, the company used the ill-gotten gains to pay the fuel expenses of company employees, family members, and friends. The whistleblower who brought the fraud to light in a case filed under the New York State False...

November 27, 2018

In New York, Bottini Fuel pleaded guilty to unlawfully retaining overpayments made by fuel oil customers, including public entity customers.  Rather than inform customers that they had made overpayments, or refund those payments, Bottini admitted that it diverted the customers' credit balances to the personal accounts of company owners, employees, and other friends and family.  Bottini agreed to pay over $3.2 million in restitution and civil damages.  The investigation was initiated by the filing of a whistleblower complaint under the New York False Claims Act; the unnamed whistleblower will receive $491,358 of the settlement.  NY AG

November 21, 2018

Andrew Otero and his company, A&D General Contracting, Inc. (“A&D”) were convicted of multiple charges after they were found guilty of constructing a scheme to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Army Corps of Engineers in order to obtain approximately $11 million in federal government construction contracts or task orders set aside for small businesses owned by disabled veterans. Otero, as shown by evidence at trial, does not have any military experience. Yet he and his co-conspirator Roger Ramsey, a veteran, and on behalf of his company, Action, formed a joint venture and falsely represented to the government that Action and the JV met the qualifications to be a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (“SDVOSB”), thus enabling them to bid on the contracts. Additionally, evidence at trial showed that the JV’s daily operations and decision-making did not function as would a legitimate SDVOSB. All four defendants are also facing civil charges. Sentencing will take place on February 19, 2019.    DOJ

Catch of the Week — DOJ Nets 3 South Korean Companies in Bid Rigging Scheme

Posted  11/16/18
Our Catch of the Week celebrates DOJ’s massive $236 million settlement with three South Korean-based companies accused of rigging bids to inflate the cost of fuel supplied to U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force bases in South Korea, the investigation of which was initiated by a whistleblower represented by Constantine Cannon. The three companies, SK Energy Co. Ltd., GS Caltex Corporation, and Hanjin Transportation Co. Ltd., will plead guilty and pay $82 million...

Three South Korean Companies to Pay $236 Million, Resolving Civil and Criminal Liability for Bid Rigging Alleged in Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Suit

Posted  11/14/18
Bid Rigging Fuel South Korea
The Justice Department announced that SK Energy Co. Ltd., GS Caltex Corporation, and Hanjin Transportation Co. Ltd. collectively agreed to pay $236 million for their respective roles in a decade-long conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices, thereby overcharging the U.S. Government on contracts to supply fuel to U.S. military bases throughout South Korea. The deal resolves False Claims Act allegations against the three South Korea-based companies brought by a...

November 14, 2018

The United States and three South Korea-based companies, SK Energy Co. Ltd., GS Caltex Corporation, and Hanjin Transportation Co. Ltd., have reached an agreement to resolve criminal and civil claims arising from the defendants' alleged bid-rigging and price-fixing in contracts to supply fuel to U.S. military bases in South Korea.  As a result of this conduct, the Department of Defense paid substantially inflated prices for fuel supply services in South Korea. Defendants agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay a total of $236 million -- $82 million in criminal fines and $154 million for civil antitrust and False Claims Act violations related to the bid-rigging conspiracy.  The False Claims Act civil investigation resulted from a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  The settlement is part of an ongoing federal investigation into bid rigging, price fixing and other anticompetitive conduct targeting U.S. Department of Defense fuel supply contracts in South Korea; the defendants have have agreed to cooperate with that investigation.  DOJ

November 8, 2018

The United States charged two South Korean nationals, Hyeong-won Lee and Dong-guel Lee, of defrauding the federal government in connection with two multimillion dollar construction contracts their employer, South Korea-based SK Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., (SK), had with the U.S. Army. From 2008 to 2017, acting on behalf of SK, the two allegedly submitted fraudulent subcontracts that were based on millions of dollars of kickbacks that SK paid to a U.S. official in exchange for being awarded the contracts. While the fraud was being investigated, the two also took pains to disguise the kickbacks and fraud even further by ordering employees to burn boxes of evidence and persuading them not to testify. DOJ; USAO WDTN

Catch of the Week – Northrop Grumman Systems

Posted  11/8/18
Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation agreed to a $31.65 million settlement to resolve allegations that it overstated employee hours on two government contracts related to battlefield communications services for the United States Air Force.  Of the total settlement, $27.45 million was paid to resolve civil allegations that NGSC violated the False Claims Act, and $4.2 million was forfeited by the company to resolve criminal allegations related to the same conduct. Billing...

November 5, 2018

The owner of WOW Imaging Products LLC and Time Enterprises LLC pled guilty to defrauding government agencies of approximately $3.5 million over the course of six years. Beginning in 2011, Jim A. Meron allegedly profited substantially from office products his companies sold to federal agencies through sales portals run by the General Services Administration (GSA) and Department of Defense (DoD). Although Meron’s government clients placed orders for premium products, he often sent products that cost a fraction of what they paid, pocketing the difference in price. In addition to forfeiting $1.7 million in assets, Meron now faces a maximum of 20 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines; his sentencing is scheduled for February 2019. USAO EDCA
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