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Jan 7, 2021 by |

California Whistleblower Attorney: Government Contractors Reach $57.75 Million Settlement To Resolve Fraudulent Time Charging Claims

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Unallowable Time Charged To Government

Four Workers Blow Whistle On The Fraudulent Charges 

Whistleblowers Share $13.75 Million Reward

Under both the federal False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq. and the California False Claims Act, Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 12650 et seq., the federal or State government rewards whistleblowers who present credible information of false claims for payment by the government to service providers, contractors, manufacturers and others.  Whistleblowers bring their cases (known as qui tams) by filing a complaint under seal and provide a copy of the complaint and a statement regarding their evidence to the government for evaluation.31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(federal); Cal. Gov’t Code § 12652(c)(1)(California). Fraud in government contract work is a major area of false claims against the government and thus very frequently the subject of a qui tam case.  Typically, insiders like employees, former employees or accountants or consultants may be the individuals with firsthand knowledge of the fraud and the plaintiffs (also called “relators) in these qui tam actions.  Such persons can be rewarded for blowing the whistle on any fraudulent schemes. If you have credible information for a false claims whistleblower case or any other whistleblower case in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help.

Government Contractor Fraud

In one recent case[1] two government contractors have agreed to pay $57.75 million to resolve fraud allegations for overcharging the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for unallowable idle time charges for workers on the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington State. The False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit was filed by four whistleblowers who served as craft workers at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant (WTP).  The complaint alleges that, between 2009 and 2019, the contractors overcharged DOE for unreasonable and unallowable workers’ idle time and failed to schedule enough work to keep workers sufficiently productive (which resulted in more idle time). The contractors allegedly continued to overcharge the government even after U.S. authorities notified the defendants that the costs were not allowable. The complaint alleged that the contractors not only overcharged taxpayers, but that by cutting corners, the contractors threatened the general public’s health and safety.  The case has settled for $57.75

Employees Protected From Employer Retaliation

Whenever an employee blows the whistle on fraud against the government, he or she is protected from retaliation by their employer.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).  California law also protects employees who blow the whistle on fraud against the State of California.  Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653.  If you are fired because you brought any fraud to light, you can fight back under both the federal and State statutes. You may be entitled to sue your employer in federal or State court (usually where your underlying qui tam case is filed) and seek double back pay (with interest), reinstatement, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and reimbursement for certain costs in connection with the litigation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(2) (federal); Cal. Gov’t Code § 12653(b)(California). Our California whistleblower attorneys can represent you in any action for retaliation as well as represent you in your underlying whistleblower application.

Contact Us

If you have credible information of government contractor fraud against the federal government or the State of California, call Ingrid M. Evans and our other whistleblower attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  Our attorneys also handle bank fraud whistleblower cases under FIRREA/FIAFEA, commodity trading and securities fraud under the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program and the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, and tax fraud under the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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