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Blowing The Whistle On Fraud By Government Contractors

The False Claims Act was originally passed during the Civil War at the request of President Lincoln, and was primarily directed to combat fraud by contractors selling supplies to the Union Army.  Today, fraud by defense contractors is still a major focus of False Claims Act cases.  However, in terms of government contracting, it is not limited to defense contractors. Generally, the False Claims Act covers fraud by any company doing business with any agency of the federal government. (State False Claims Acts in most states also cover contractors doing business with state and local governments.) The types of False Claims Act fraud in the area of government contracting can include failures to comply with contract specifications; failure to complete the project to government requirements and standards; obtaining defense contracts through false statements; misrepresenting the cost of a project or “underbidding” on contracts; overcharging or over-billing on a government project; omitting resources available to the company for a project; use of cheap or inferior products on the project; failure to pay prevailing wages; and bid rigging.

Government contractor fraud can come in many different forms, and the government relies heavily on whistleblowers to help expose new schemes and fraudulent actions. Qui tam whistleblowers are often the last line of defense when it comes to exposing contractor fraud, and helping those whistleblower clients expose that fraud is one of the most rewarding aspects of our practice. In each of the past five years, the federal government has recovered more than $100 million in qui tam cases against Department of Defense contractors.

When government programs designed to protect America, or provide services to the American taxpayers, are taken advantage of by unscrupulous businesses, qui tam whistleblowers are very important in bringing these schemes to light.  Our whistleblower clients are often motivated by a strong sense of patriotism, and outrage at the theft of taxpayer dollars.

If you have information that a government contractor has collected money for a project through the use of false claims or false statements, or has failed to comply with the specifications laid out in the contract, you may be able to blow the whistle on this fraud and pursue a qui tam lawsuit.  Typically, qui tam whistleblowers are rewarded for their integrity by being given a portion of the government’s recovery. Under the federal False Claims Act, a successful qui tam whistleblower can receive a monetary award of between 15% and 30% of the total amount recovered by the government.