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Government Programs Fraud

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

Fraud in Government Programs
Whistleblower Home Page

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August 13, 2019

Classic Site Solutions, Inc. (CSS), a Massachusetts-based construction management company, and owner Cheryl Sady, have agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle allegations that CSS’s conduct between 2009 and 2015 violated the False Claims Act.  In order to access government contracts set aside for companies located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones), CSS and Sady allegedly submitted false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) indicating their principal office was located in a HUBZone, which allowed them to fraudulently bid on and win contracts worth millions of dollars.  USAO CT

Question of the Week — Will Healthcare Settlements Continue to Dominate False Claims Act Recoveries?

Posted  07/24/19
Recent blockbuster settlements continue past trends: healthcare fraud has so far this year dominated FCA recoveries. During the first half of 2019, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) secured over $750 million in settlements from False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases. And just past the mid-year point, total recoveries have nearly doubled due to a $700 million civil settlement ($1.4 billion total) entered on July 11th...

How Businesses Can Use Whistleblower Reward Laws to Stop Unfair Competition

Posted  07/22/19
Runner in track race starting before other racers
Most anyone can be a whistleblower. The role is not limited to the corporate insider or company employee at the meeting, on the conference call or in receipt of the email or text message where the “smoking-gun” evidence of fraud or misconduct is disclosed. Whistleblowers can be any person, or an entity, with non-public information about fraudulent conduct giving rise to a whistleblower claim.  Often, businesses...

Catch of the Week — Overstock.com Ordered to Pay $7.27M in Whistleblower’s Unused Gift Card Case

Posted  07/12/19
overstsock.com website logo
In a final order made public this week, a Delaware judge ordered internet retailer Overstock.com to pay $7.27 million in treble damages and civil penalties for failing to report and transfer to the state nearly $3 million in unredeemed gift card balances. In September 2018, a jury found that Overstock had violated Delaware’s unclaimed property law, which requires gift card issuers to remit unused card balances to...

July 10, 2019

Overstock.com has been ordered by a Delaware court to pay $7.3 million following a jury verdict against it on claims that the online retailer misrepresented its disposition of abandoned gift card balances to Delaware's revenue agency in order to avoid obligations under the Delaware escheat law, which requires that Delaware-chartered companies turn over unclaimed assets to the state.  The case was brought by whistleblower William Sean French, a former employee of a gift card company, under the Delaware False Claims and Reporting Act. DEL

June 19, 2019

Memphis Goodwill Industries has agreed to pay $150,000 for allegedly making false certifications to the federal government in order to qualify for contracts administered by the AbilityOne Commission, which helps create job opportunities for disabled individuals.  Federal regulations required AbilityOne contractors like Goodwill to employ disabled individuals for 75% of its direct labor hours and submit annual certifications attesting to that fact.  Despite submitting certifications attesting to the 75%, Goodwill was found to allegedly employ disabled individuals for far fewer hours.  USAO WDTN

June 18, 2019

A consultant in South Dakota who allegedly caused multiple states to submit up to five years of false quality control data to the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has agreed to pay $751,571 to resolve her liability under the False Claims Act.  Though funded by the federal government, SNAP relies on states to ensure that food stamp benefits are awarded correctly and error rates are accurately reported.  To incentivize lower error rates, the USDA reimburses states for certain quality control expenses and pays bonuses to states with the lowest and most improved error rates.  Julie Osnes was retained by multiple states to lower error rates but gave improper advice, causing the states to report false information and receive bonuses they were not entitled to.  Through settlements with three of the states—Alaska, Virginia, and Wisconsin—the federal government has recovered $17 million.  USAO EDWA

Whistleblowers Needed to Stop Secret Kickbacks, Bribes, Overcharging, and False Costs in E-Rate, Lifeline, Connect America, and Rural Healthcare programs

Posted  06/7/19
By Jessica T. Moore
Large broadband cable bales awaiting installation on rural road.
The FCC disburses billions of dollars every year for its massive Universal Service Fund (USF) and its laudable mission to promote telephone and internet access to all U.S. persons regardless of income and location. This massive pot of government money attracts a commensurate measure of opportunists seeking to defraud these well-meaning programs.

What is the Universal Service Fund?

The Universal Service Fund...

WATCH THIS SPACE: Proposed $700M Fix for Installed Foreign-Telecom Could Compound Fraud Related to Universal-Service-Fund Projects

Posted  05/31/19
Hand touching lock icon on modern digital screen interface stating “hacking detected” and “security breach”
Congress, the President, and the FCC are moving to restrict and phase out foreign-made telecommunications components seen as national security risks. While the president’s executive order of May 15, 2019 prohibits U.S. companies from buying foreign telecom, we have a huge problem: our systems already have large quantities of this equipment installed – antennas, radios, electronics, routers, services, etc. The...

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