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

April 18th, 2012 by Qui Tam

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.

For more information, please see:
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/March/12-civ-341.html

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