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Pricing Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to government contracting fraud involving pricing, including best price violations, Truth in Negotiations Act violations, and others. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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November 20, 2020

Information technology contractor Cognosante, LLC will pay $19 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by overcharging the government under two GSA Multiple Award Schedule contracts.  The settlement came after Cognosante disclosed to the U.S. that it provided false information concerning its commercial discounting practices during contract negotiations and, during contract performance, charged the government for labor that failed to meet the qualifications set forth in the contracts.  DOJ; USAO DC

Wireless Carriers – Government Contracting Fraud ($138.7 million)

Constantine Cannon represented whistleblower OnTheGo Wireless, LLC, in state False Claims Act litigation against the four largest U.S. wireless carriers, AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile, that resulted in the recovery of $138.7 million for the states of California, Nevada, and other jurisdictions, including political subdivisions in those states.  The whistleblower, an industry expert but not an insider at any of the carriers, alleged that the carriers knowingly failed to comply with contractual promises to deliver service “at the lowest cost available,” and provide rate plan “optimization” reports each quarter.  The contracts in questions were cooperative purchasing contracts that allowed different government entities to purchase under the terms and conditions of a master contract negotiated by a lead government agency.  For the carriers, becoming providers under the cooperative purchasing agreements gave them access to a multi-billion dollar market and, eager to have that access, the carriers agreed to provide rate plan optimization, but then, according to the whistleblower, failed to provide it.  The contracts were long-standing and the terms highly specialized.  And, many government agencies agreed to purchase under the contracts based solely on the fact they were put together by the Western States Contracting Alliance (“WSCA”).  This created an opportunity, OnTheGo alleged, that the carriers knowingly exploited to breach their promise to deliver low cost service and rate plan optimization, resulting in hundreds of millions of overcharges to government entities.  Over 30 California political subdivisions intervened in the California action and were also represented by Constantine Cannon; the State of Nevada intervened in the Nevada action. Plaintiffs ultimately recovered $138.7 million, and the whistleblower received a relator share of nearly 40%.  See Press Release and Whistleblower Insider for more.

August 31, 2020

CDM Smith Inc. and CDM Federal Programs Corporation paid $5.6 million to resolve charges that they violated the False Claims Act and Truth in Negotiations Act by submitting inaccurate cost and labor hour estimates and related certifications in connection with task orders on a federal contract to supply architect-engineering services to Navy bases.  The case was initiated by an unnamed whistleblower, who will receive a share of the recovery.  USAO ED VA

For Garlic Powder They Got Maltodextrin

Posted  08/28/20
By Jessica T. Moore
The centuries-old yet enduring fraud of cheap-substitutions for quality foodstuffs reared its head during the U.S. Civil War when the government bought supplies from contractors: “For sugar, it often got sand; for coffee, rye; for leather, something no better than brown paper; for sound horses and mules, spavined beasts and dying donkeys; and for serviceable muskets and pistols, the experimental failures of sanguine...

August 21, 2020

Fire protection services contractor Fiore Industries Inc. will pay $1.2 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act by overstating its workers’ compensation rates in submitting claims for work it preformed at NASA’s Ames Field Center, thereby overcharging the government.  Fiore’s stated workers compensation rates did not account for discounts it knew it would receive.  USAO ND Cal

COVID Frauds of the Week: More Price Gouging and PPP Fraud

Posted  08/21/20
money in a spiral form with a bankroll of cash on top
As the COVID-19 pandemic remains omnipresent in our daily lives, so too do the fraudsters who seek to capitalize on the crisis and line their own pockets.  Fortunately, government regulators have remained vigilant in rooting out fraud and protecting the public.   Just in the past week, federal prosecutors have busted two large schemes seeking to profit off other's pain. First, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Price Gouging, Unapproved Treatments, and a Dead CEO

Posted  08/7/20
N95 Masks
COVID-19 fraudsters really delivered this week, wherein we saw price gouging on masks, peddling of unproven “treatments” for COVID-19, and fraudulently-obtained PPP money spent on real estate, luxury goods, and personal—sometimes very personal—entertainment. Starting in Pennsylvania, the Attorney General announced this week that two medical supply companies—American Surgical Supply and Keystone Medical...

Antitrust Violations, COVID-19, and the False Claims Act

Posted  04/23/20
By Leah Judge
whistle hanging on rope
As the federal government spends trillions of dollars to fight the coronavirus pandemic and alleviate its economic fallout, we can expect to see large chunks of that money misused and misappropriated by bad actors.  Now more than ever, we’ll need whistleblowers to come forward to report what they see on the ground, whether it’s an unqualified company seeking Paycheck Protection Program funds intended for small...

Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/10/20
False Claims Act
This year, federal and state governments recovered hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to whistleblowers who came forward to report fraud under the federal False Claims Act and state False Claims Acts.  Whistleblowers reported a wide-range of misconduct involving government contracts, including fraud by defense contractors, airlines, and even a major research university.  Defendants’ deception ran the gamut...

December 3, 2019

In the second settlement to come out of a federal investigation into the generic pharmaceutical industry, Rising Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to pay over $4 million to settle civil and criminal charges stemming from violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute.  In the criminal case, Rising allegedly teamed up with a competing generic drug manufacturer to fix prices and divide up the market for a hypertension drug, Benazepril HCTZ, while in the civil case, the company allegedly paid and received illegal remuneration through similar arrangements with another generic drug manufacturer.  Under the newly signed deferred prosecution agreement, Rising has agreed to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation.  DOJ; USAO EDPA
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