Fraudsters Beware: Flurry of Recent Actions in Enforcement Show that Contracting Fraud is a Priority
Four recent state and federal actions indicate that government contracting fraud cases are in the spotlight. These actions all stemmed from alleged violations of laws that give certain businesses, such as, small, minority-owned, or veteran-owned businesses, advantages in obtaining government contracts. These contracts are often called “preference” or “set-aside” contracts and the goal of these laws is to...
A contractor tasked with constructing a new terminal of the Peoria International Airport using FAA grant funds has agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations that it fraudulently obtained the contract by misrepresenting its use of a disadvantaged small business. In violation of grant rules as well as the False Claims Act, Williams Brothers Construction Inc. allegedly made false representations and submitted fraudulent documents to make it appear that an eligible firm would do work on the project when instead the work was handed off to an ineligible firm. DOJ; USAO CDIL
What is an IG and Why do IGs Matter to Whistleblowers and in the COVID-19 Response?
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, and the government rolls out massive spending programs and regulatory changes in response, there has been significant news about inspectors general. Inspectors General – IGs – and the teams that work for them, often referred to as the Office of the Inspector General or OIG, play a critical role in preventing mismanagement, waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs. Iowa...
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
Georgia-based MiMedx Group Inc. has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle allegations of defrauding the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by knowingly submitting false commercial pricing disclosures, in violation of the False Claims Act. According to a qui tam complaint by whistleblowers Jess Kruchoski and Luke Tornquist, the false pricing disclosures enabled MiMedx to charge inflated prices for human tissue graft products. Kruchoski and Tornquist will receive a relator’s share of $1,625,000. DOJ; USAO MN
The COVID-19 Crisis, Whistleblowers, and the Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Team
As Constantine Cannon announced earlier this week, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we have implemented contingency plans to work remotely. While our work locations have changed, we remain dedicated to our whistleblower clients, and our team continues to provide whistleblowers with support and legal guidance.
With offices in New York, D.C., San Francisco, and London, the Constantine Cannon...
Constantine Cannon is proud to represent three leading immigrants rights organizations, Human Rights Watch, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Freedom For Immigrants in filing a “friend of the court,” or amicus brief, in two cases related to California’s right to ban private prison companies. Last year, California enacted AB 32, which barred private prison companies from operating within the state. The...
Alaska-based Northern Air Cargo LLC has agreed to pay $4.7 million to resolve claims of falsely reporting U.S. mail delivery times. Under a contract with USPS, Northern Air Cargo agreed to take possession of U.S. mail from certain domestic and international pick up points, then deliver the mail to other domestic or international destinations. In order to obtain payment, Northern Air Cargo was required to submit scans confirming time of delivery, but violated the False Claims Act by submitting scans that reported falsified delivery times. DOJ