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Jul 29, 2021 by |

San Francisco Whistleblower Attorney: Government Settles False Claims Act Case With Defense Material Supplier for $5.6 Million

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

False Claims Case Alleged False Certification For Goods

Supplier Allegedly Disguised Source Of Products

Relators Will Receive $952,000 Reward

Federal government contracts whether for goods or services are typically subject to very specific requirements and regulations. This is particularly true for defense contracts or U.S. government contracts with foreign nations for services or military equipment.  One of the guidelines may be a requirement that the materials or goods were sourced in the United States rather than outsourced to a foreign county. When a contractor knowingly violates those guidelines by disguising the actual source of materials, that conduct may constitute a false claim against the government actionable under the federal False Claims Act.  See False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq. Cases under the FCA may be brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or other government agency, but are most often brought by individuals bringing actions on behalf of the government because those individuals have original information of the fraud.  In government contract cases, the suits may be brought by other suppliers or competitors who have knowledge of a particular contractor’s illegal schemes.  Whether a private individual or business brings the case, the plaintiff is referred to as a whistleblower or “relator.” Their cases (known as qui tam cases) are initiated by filing a complaint in federal court on behalf of the government, under seal, and providing a copy of the complaint and a statement regarding their evidence to the government for evaluation.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(b).  If you have credible information for a false claims whistleblower case on behalf of the federal government in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help.

DOJ Settlement with Defense Contractor

In one recently settled case,[1] the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California settled False Claims Act allegations against that a defense materials supplier falsely certified that it sourced materials in the United States for items it manufactured under a contract with the government of Israel that was paid for by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agreement Agency (DSCA).  Specifically, the government alleged that the contractor submitted false certifications pertaining to seven government of Israel purchase orders. With respect to these procurements, the United States alleged that contractor falsely certified that materials used in filling the orders were sourced in the U.S. when they were actually sourced in China and Mexico.  “As always, we are committed to preserving the integrity of the government contracting process and to ensuring that funds fraudulently obtained are returned to the public fisc,” said Randy S. Grossman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of California.  Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Special Agent in Charge Bryan Denny, Western Field Office, stated “The DCIS is committed to working with our law enforcement partners and the Department of Justice to combat those who attempt to take advantage of the military’s procurement system. Each instance of fraud or corruption has the potential to harm the military’s mission or those who serve, and needlessly wastes taxpayer money.”

Blowing The Whistle On Government Fraud

In the reported case, a competitor of the defrauding contractor blew the whistle on the fraud.  But often it is an employee with original information of the fraud, including information that the employer has disguised the true origin of a material. If the relator/plaintiff is a current employee, the employee/relator can fight back if the employer retaliates against the employee for bringing a qui tam case. 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.  We know how to investigate and litigate retaliation cases with the aim of obtaining our clients all relief available under all governing laws.

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  In addition to whistleblower cases under the FCA and CFCA, 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. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way. The case is captioned United States, ex rel. Gregory Caputo and Global Tungsten & Powders Corporation v. Tungsten Heavy Powder, Inc., d/b/a Tungsten Heavy Powder & Parts, Inc., Case No. 18-cv-2352-W (WVG).

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