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Consolidated Nuclear Security Settles False Claims Act Claims for $18.4 Million

Posted  April 26, 2024

The DOJ recently announced that Consolidated Nuclear Security (“CNS”), a company that contracted with the government to manage and operate a site for the National Nuclear Security Administration, paid over $18 million to settle False Claims Act claims.

According to the settlement agreement, the government contended that CNS submitted claims for payment for “hours purportedly worked” by CNS’s technicians and recorded on the technicians’ timesheets, when those hours were “not in fact worked.”  While the settlement indicates it is not an admission of liability, it notes that “CNS self-disclosed the conduct, took action against personnel engaged in the misconduct, and has cooperated with the resulting investigation.”

The DOJ’s press release quotes Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton: “Today’s settlement demonstrates that the Justice Department will ensure that government contractors fulfill their commitments particularly with respect to highly sensitive work on matters of national security.”

Two takeaways from this settlement.  First, when companies contract to provide goods or services to the government, they must “turn square corners” and provide the goods and services they’re paid to provide according to the terms and conditions of the contract or the law governing the provision of such goods and services.

Second, acting on internal identification of wrongdoing — in this case, CNS opted to self-disclose — can be a productive way to resolve the problem and move forward.  Often, a whistleblower has tried desperately to resolve the problem internally, only to be rebuffed by superiors looking to sweep it under the rug, sideline the whistleblower, and pretend it never happened.  Whistleblowers are often the first ones to spot a problem and companies should respond to their claims appropriately.  Indeed, the government has established numerous whistleblower rewards programs to incentivize whistleblowers to come forward and help the government fight fraud.

If you have information relating to potential government contract fraud or a False Claims Act violation and would like to speak to a member of the Constantine Cannon whistleblower lawyer team, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.