Skip to Content
415-441-8669 | TOLL FREE: 888-50EVANS

PHONE: 415-441-8669 | TOLL FREE: 888-50EVANS

May 6, 2024 by |

San Francisco Whistleblower Attorney: Information Services Company Agrees To Pay $37 Million To Settle Allegations Of Misuse Of Data Obtained Under Government Contracts


Improper Use Of Data As False Claims Act Violation

Defendant Allegedly Sold Data Obtained From Government Agencies

How False Claims Cases Work

Fraud against the government costs taxpayers billions every year and the majority of fraudulent claims submitted to the government for payment arise from the healthcare sector.  But fraud can also arise where the government pays for services and then the service provider improperly profits from those services in ways which the government does not permit.  A recent example of this kind of False Claims case is discussed below.  Whatever the fraud when citizens sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the government the cases are brought in federal courts throughout the country under the False Claims Act, (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq.  The private individuals bringing the cases are referred to as “relators,” and the cases themselves are called “qui tam” cases. If the government recovers, the individuals bringing the lawsuits are eligible for rewards. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).   Relators of fraudulent conduct are often employees or managers, or former employees or managers, or (in healthcare cases) patients of the business engaging in the fraud.  If you have credible information of fraud against the government in violation of the FCA in San Francisco 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).

Recent Settlement[1]

In a recent press release by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a data services provider has agreed to pay the United States $37 million to resolve claims under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), in connection with its access to and use of credit card data obtained pursuant to contracts with various federal regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  According to the government the company analyzes economic transactions, credit card data and credit bureau data to provide benchmarking and market analysis products to commercial and government clients. Between March 2009 and 2020, Argus executed contracts with a variety of government agencies to validate certain credit card data that the regulatory agencies directed banks to provide. The government contracts each placed restrictions on defendant’s ability to use the data collected.

The settlement resolves allegations that, from 2010 through 2020, defendant improperly accessed, used and retained credit card data that it received under the contracts. The United States alleged that defendant incorporated the data into the products and services it sold to some commercial customers. The United States further alleged that the company failed to disclose its use of the data to the United States.

“Companies that do business with the federal government are expected to abide by the terms of their agreements, including any restrictions on the use or disclosure of government supplied data,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will not permit contractors to profit from the misuse of such data and to put the data at risk.”

How A Qui Tam Action Begins

Any False Claims Act whistleblower case begins by a relator filing a complaint under seal in the federal court usually for the United States District Court for the district where defendant is located or does business. At the same time, the relator submits a disclosure to the DOJ outlining the material evidence the relator has of the alleged false claims. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b). The seal period of the complaint lasts 60 days during which the DOJ investigates the claims.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2). (If necessary, the government can, and often does, extend the 60-day period during which the allegations are kept under seal.)  If the government decides to intervene in the case, the government essentially takes over the litigation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(1).   If the government declines to intervene, the relator may proceed with the litigation on his or her own.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(3).

Contact Us

If you have credible information of government fraud in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267) or by email at <a href=””></a>.  In addition to FCA and CFCA whistleblower cases, Ingrid and Evans Law Firm, Inc. 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. 

Law Dragons 500 badge Million Dollar Advocates Forum SuperLawyers Badge Best Lawyers Badge Avvo

Our Passion For Justice

415-441-8669 888-50EVANS

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"I contacted Attorney Ingrid Evans for advice about a financial elder abuse case. She was extremely knowledgeable, bright and informative. I highly recommend her. I am an attorney myself, and know when I am talking to a another excellent attorney."
Posted By: Terry Kolkey Attorney

Read More Reviews