False Claims Act Action Brought By Former Employee
Contractor Allegedly Misrepresented Compliance With Regulations
Former Employee/Whistleblower To Receive $2.61 Million Reward
Knowing violation of the terms of a government contract or misrepresentations regarding compliance with regulations by any government contractor paid to provide products or services to the government may violate the False Claims Act. See False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq. Government contracts, particularly defense contracts, have very specific specifications for the component parts of any final product used by military personnel or forming part of any equipment or weapons, and very tight cybersecurity requirements. Contractors may knowingly misrepresent compliance with regulatory requirements or deviate from the specifications for finished goods in order to reduce costs and increase profits on the contracted job. Individuals with knowledge of this kind of fraud, often employees or former employees of the offending contractor, may bring an action (called a “qui tam” case) on behalf of the government for the fraud perpetrated against the government. Rewards for the individuals (referred to as “relators”) bringing the actions can equal 15-30% of the amount recovered. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d). If you have credible information for a false claims whistleblower case on behalf of the federal government in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Contractor Settles False Claims Allegations
In one recently settled case, a government contractor has agreed to pay $9 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting its compliance with cybersecurity requirements in certain federal government contracts, according to the Justice Department. The contractor provides propulsion and power systems for launch vehicles, missiles and satellites and other space vehicles to the Department of Defense, NASA and other federal agencies. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed and litigated by a former employee against the contractor under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit a private party (known as a relator) to file a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. The relator and defendant reached a settlement of the case on the second day of trial. Relator will receive $2.61 million as his share of the False Claims Act recovery.
“Whistleblowers with inside information and technical expertise can provide crucial assistance in identifying knowing cybersecurity failures and misconduct,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The qui tam action brought by Mr. Markus is an example of how whistleblowers can contribute to civil enforcement of cybersecurity requirements through the False Claims Act,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California.
In the reported case, a former employee of the allegedly defrauding contractor blew the whistle on the fraud. Current employees of offending companies may have evidence of fraud and the FCA prohibits retaliation against whistleblowing employees, but employers continue to retaliate against whistleblowers notwithstanding the prohibition. Employees may, however, fight back if the employer retaliates against them. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h). Wrongfully discharged employees may be entitled to 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). We can represent you in any action for retaliation as well as represent you in your underlying whistleblower application.
Ingrid M. Evans can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). In addition to whistleblower cases under the FCA, Ingrid handles 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.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way. The qui tam case is captioned United States ex rel. Brian Markus v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-02245-WBS-AC (E.D.Cal.).