Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act Recoveries of 2021
Our roundup of 2021’s Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries illustrates the statute’s continuing capacity to fight both conventional and emergent frauds straddling a variety of industries. In 2021 alone, the United States recovered hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds obtained through false claims tainted by textbook contracting fraud schemes (overbilling on government contracts, selling the government substandard products and services, and the like) as well as evolving FCA enforcement arenas like bribery and bid-rigging schemes, fraud in the energy sector, and fraud on humanitarian relief and development programs.
Though healthcare matters now encompass the majority of FCA dollars recovered, the list below demonstrates that fraud on the government sadly extends far beyond the healthcare space. The list set forth below reflects over a quarter billion dollars in recoveries from just ten of last year’s non-healthcare FCA recoveries. With this compilation, we celebrate the conscientious whistleblowers and government officials who have and will fight fraud in all its forms.
- Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC) – $65 Million – This military housing provider agreed to pay over $65 million and plead guilty to fraud charges surrounding a scheme to obtain incentive payments on government contracts by falsely reporting certain performance objectives it had not in fact met.
- Navistar – $50 Million – A military vehicle contractor settled these whistleblower-initiated FCA allegations over inducing the U.S. Marine Corps to enter a contract modification that overcharged for an armored vehicle suspension system known as Mine-Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP). According to the government, it relied on fraudulent sales of invoices Navistar provided to justify its pricing during contract negotiations.
- United Airlines – $49 Million – This settlement resolved criminal and civil claims that United’s cargo division overcharged the U.S. Postal Service on contracts to transport mail internationally. United allegedly submitted false data surrounding departure and arrival scans to track mail movement, in violation of its contracts with USPS.
- Insitu – $25 Million – The former company executive who blew the whistle shared in this recovery over FCA violations concerning contracts to supply drones to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Special Operations Command. From 2009 to 2017, Insitu, owned by Boeing, allegedly used recycled parts in its drones but submitted to the government cost and pricing data for new parts.
- Level3 – $22 Million – The settlement resolved a former employee’s claims that the multinational telecommunications and internet service provider accepted kickbacks from a subcontractor on its contracts with the General Services Administration. Level3 also allegedly violated its contract with the Department of Homeland Security when it falsely claimed the same subcontractor was a woman-owned small business.
- COLAS Djibouti SARL – $14.5 Million – The French contractor faced civil and criminal charges over contracts to supply concrete to the U.S. Navy for airfields in the Republic of Djibouti. The company allegedly violated the contracts when it made false representations and reported fake testing results about the concrete’s composition and characteristics.
- AAR and AAR Airlift Group – $11 Million – A former employee-turned whistleblower shared in the government’s recovery over claims the company violated its government contracts when it failed to maintain military helicopters in airworthy and mission capable condition.
- Avis Budget – $10.1 Million – The car rental company and its subsidiaries settled allegations that it violated its government contracts when it charged government renters for add-on services (e.g., collision/loss waiver and supplemental liability coverage) that were already baked into the overall arrangements.
- International Rescue Committee – $6.9 Million – This settlement over fraud and corruption in humanitarian relief programs resolved claims that the organization engaged in a kickback and bid-rigging scheme from 2012-2015 that inflated its charges on contracts with the USAID to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced persons in Syria.
- Devon Energy – $6.15 Million – According to the government, the company and its affiliates underreported and underpaid the Department of the Interior for mandatory royalties on the value of gas it produced from public land, including improperly deducting certain costs.
Annual Whistleblower Insider Top Ten Lists
Every January, Whistleblower Insider looks back at the significant government enforcement actions of the past year. Our Top Ten lists highlight the biggest recoveries and significant enforcement efforts by different government actors in cases of interest to whistleblowers.
Browse Top 10 Lists
- Bribery and Bid-Rigging
- False Claims Act
- Fraud in Other Government Programs
- Government Contract Fraud
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