Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category

$47 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Against Harbert Companies

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

United States came to an agreement of $47 million to settle a case involving a conspiracy to rig the bids on a USAID-funded construction. Harbert Corporation, Harbert International, Inc., Bill Harbert International Constructions Inc., Harbert Construction Services (U.K.) Ltd. and Bilhar International Establishment were accused of causing others to submit false claims, as well as submitting false claims of their own, to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The settlement resolves claims under the False Claims Act and The Harbert Companies have agreed to pay the claims.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s in Cairo, Egypt, Harbert International Inc. was given Contract 20A to construct a sewer system, where the many Harbert entities entered into agreements with other prospective bidders on Contract 20A to guarantee the win.   The United States insisted that for a payoff, other probable bidders arranged to either not bid or deliberately bid high. Formerly, the United States obtained a judgment against Harbert Construction Services (U.K.) Ltd. and Bilhar International Establishment on these accusations.    

A whistleblower, Richard F. Miller, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 1995 the allegations against Harbert entities. There has been no determination of liability, the allegations settled by this agreement against Harbert Corporation, Harbert International Inc. and Bill Harbert International Constructions Inc. are allegations only.

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Grenade Makers Attempt to Defuse False Claims Act Charges Denied

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Last week, United States District Judge Steve Merryday upheld Relator John King’s amended qui tam Complaint against grenade manufacturer DSE, Inc. and its subcontractors Kaman Precision Products, GTI Systems, and JKS Industries.  Mr. King, a former employee at DSE, alleges that the company terminated him from the position of quality-assurance manager when he refused to certify the quality of defective grenades that either exploded prematurely or failed to explode at all.

According to the Complaint, DSE and its subcontractors cut corners on quality control in order to meet production deadlines for the U.S. government.  Judge Merryday ruled that the allegations in the amended Complaint were sufficient “to allege that each defendant knowingly participated in a scheme to provide substandard grenades to the United States Armed Forces.”

Judge Merryday also rejected subcontractors’ argument that Mr. King could not have known about their quality control processes because he worked for DSE, and not the subcontractors.  While he did not observe the subcontractors’ work first-hand, the Court held it was sufficient that Mr. King inspected the final product and found it defective.

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Massachusetts Contractor Sued For Not Using Minority- and Woman-owned Businesses

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Petricca Construction Company, a Massachusetts-based contractor, was allegedly involved in construction fraud and violating the Massachusetts False Claims Act.  A new lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General claims that Petricca falsely certified compliance with contracts that required Petricca to use minority- and woman-owned businesses for work equal to a certain value of the contract.  Petricca allegedly used non-minority and non-woman contractors instead.  The suit claims that between 2004 and 2008, Petricca filed approximately 184 fraudulent certifications and fell nearly $600,000 short of its commitment.  The whistleblower in this case is Larry’s Trucking, a minority contractor who was allegedly cut out of work by Petricca.

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Welcome to the False Claims Act – Whistleblowers Blog

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Welcome to the False Claims Act – Whistleblowers Blog. The Federal and State Governments spend trillions of dollars each year to fund a wide variety of programs and to purchase vast amounts of goods and services.  Some of the larger government programs include: Medicare, Medicaid, Department of Defense-Military Spending, the Troubled Assets Relief Program (“TARP”), Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) Spending, Department of Education Grants; Department of Energy Grants and Mining and Gas Royalties; and General Services Administration (“GSA”) Spending.   

Each of these government programs is a frequent target for fraudulent schemes and false claims. The Government does not have the resources necessary to protect every dollar of taxpayer spending. The Government has come to rely upon Whistleblowers, often referred to as “Qui Tam Relators,” to blow-the-whistle on businesses and individuals who attempt to defraud the Government.

This blog is devoted to providing information and resources to those interested in: whistleblowers; fraud by government contractors; the Federal False Claims Act; State False Claims Acts; Government Investigations; Qui Tam Actions; Qui Tam Relators; Pharmaceutical Industry Fraud; Defense Contracting Fraud; Healthcare Fraud; Financial Industry Fraud; Construction Industry Fraud; Energy Industry Fraud; Grant Fraud; Disaster Recovery Fraud; and Government Procurement Fraud.

We welcome you to this Blog, and hope that you find the information and resources useful and enlightening.