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Aug 25, 2022 by |

San Francisco Whistleblower Attorney: Parts Manufacturer Settles False Claims Act Allegations Of Failure To Test Product And Falsifying Results

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Employee Initiates False Claims Act Action

Manufacturer Allegedly Failed To Test And Falsifying Results

Employee To Receive Reward

Government contracts often include strict rules regarding product specifications which contractors are obligated to meet in order to qualify for payment.   Knowing failure to fulfill contractual obligations or falsely representing compliance with government regulations may violate the False Claims Act.  See False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq.  Contractors may knowingly misrepresent compliance with regulatory requirements, fail to test, 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 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).

Product Manufacturer Settles False Claims Allegations

In one recently settled case,[1] a government defense contractor will pay $500,000 to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act for failing to conduct contractually required testing and falsifying test results for parts used in military aircraft. The defendant manufactures large metal castings that it supplies to helicopter manufacturers for use in the military’s Black Hawk program.  The United States alleged that for a seven year period the defendant failed to conduct required metallurgic and other tests on the castings, including tensile strength testing, destructive testing, microstructure analysis, hot isostatic testing and salt fog testing, and falsely certified results of tests that had not been performed. The settlement was based on an analysis of the company’s ability to pay.

“Proper testing is critical for ensuring the proper performance of the equipment that is provided to our men and women in uniform” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will hold accountable those who knowingly falsify or fail to conduct required tests and put our military at risk.” 

“It is imperative that our defense contractors and subcontractors provide the high-quality and properly tested products the military needs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Timothy Duax for the Northern District of Iowa. “We are proud to work tirelessly with our partners to ensure that this is the case.”

Whistleblower Retaliation

In the reported case, an 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. 

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>.  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. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way. The qui tam case is captioned United States ex rel. Bradley Keller v. WDC Acquisitions, LLC d/b/a Wellman Dynamics and Trive Capital Management LLC, Case No. 20-CV-100-LTS-MAR (S.D. Iowa.). 

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