Each year, the US allocates billions of dollars to contracts with private companies to meet the demand of the federal government. From defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, to healthcare contractors like McKesson Corporation, private companies that contract with the US federal government have an obligation to conduct fair business and not misuse government funds. When these companies seek to defraud the government by billing for more than they are owed, they could be violating the False Claims Act by engaging in government contractor fraud.
Current and former employees of government contractors who have evidence or proof of fraud can help protect American taxpayer dollars by reporting fraud against the government. As an incentive, government contract whistleblowers are entitled to receive a portion of any financial recovery that is made using their information. If you have proof of government contracts fraud, contact Tycko & Zavareei LLP today to speak with a whistleblower attorney.
Top Government Contractors
The federal government relies on outside contractors to supply goods and services that are not available internally. The federal government contracts such a large amount of work that the Congressional Budget Office has admitted in the past that they are not sure of the exact number of contractors the US government relies on or the total cost. Here are some of the top contractors from each industry for the fiscal year 2020:
Top Defense Contractors
In 2020, the Department of Defense spent close to $600 billion on defense contracts. Defense contractors may supply the US government and military with anything from uniforms to weapons, tanks, warships, and fighter planes. The top defense contractors include:
- Lockheed Martin Corp. – $75.8 billion USD
- Raytheon Technologies Corp. – $28.1 billion USD
- General Dynamics Corp. – $25.6 billion USD
- Boeing Co. – $23 billion USD
Top IT Contractors
The government often contracts IT companies to provide services like data analytics or cyber security. Some of the top IT contractors include:
- General Dynamics Corp. – $25.6 billion USD
- Leidos Holdings Inc. – $3.2 billion USD
- L3 Harris Technologies Inc. – $2.5 billion USD
- Raytheon Co. – $2.4 billion USD
Top Healthcare Contractors
The federal government contracted a record-breaking $682 billion in 2020, largely due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. $28 billion of that was declared to be related to the pandemic. Some of the top healthcare contractors include:
- Mckesson Corp. – $10 billion USD
- TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. – $8.9 billion USD
- Humana Inc. – $6.9 billion USD
- Centene Corp. – $3.1 billion USD
What is Government Contracts Fraud?
Government contracts fraud occurs when a contractor knowingly defrauds the government into paying money that was not owed by charging for substandard goods or services or for goods or services that were never provided. Under the False Claims Act, it is illegal for government contractors to attempt to defraud the government out of unjustified funds. Common types of government contracts fraud include:
- Making false claims when bidding for a government contract
- Submitting fraudulent invoices or overbilling for contract labor, goods, or services
- Cross-charging between government contracts
- Using refurbished, recalled, defective, or unsafe parts or materials
- Failing to inform the government of product deficiencies
- Failing to adhere to environmental or worker safety standards
- Providing products or services that do not meet the standards agreed upon in the contract
What is the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act (FCA) is also known as Lincoln’s Law and was enacted by President Lincoln during the American Civil War to address fraud by Union army war suppliers and is still used today to recover defrauded funds. Under the FCA, it is illegal for any individual, business, or organization to submit a false or misleading information to a government-funded program for undue reimbursement.
The FCA contains a qui tam provision wherein the whistleblower, referred to as the qui tam relator, has the ability to bring forth a lawsuit on behalf of the government against the contractor committing fraud and even share in any recovery made using their evidence. Whistleblowers are also granted protection from employer retaliation under the FCA.
Examples of employer retaliation include firing, demotion, suspension, reduced pay or hours, and more. If a whistleblower experiences employer retaliation after exposing fraud at their company, they may file a separate lawsuit for damages such as back pay, reinstatement, and attorneys’ fees.
Why is it Important to Report Government Contracts Fraud?
Government programs, including the programs that award billions of dollars in contracts to private companies, are funded by American taxpayers. By reporting when money is defrauded or stolen from these programs, whistleblowers can help protect US taxpayers and shed light on bad business practices. In exchange for this and the whistleblower’s bravery in coming forward, the whistleblower is entitled to receive an award between 15 and 30 percent of any recovery made through an FCA lawsuit.
Ask Our Attorneys about the Top Government Contractors and where the Federal Funding Goes
Whistleblowers who bravely report government contract fraud may receive significant financial compensation for heling protect hardworking American taxpayers. The nationally recognized government contract fraud lawyers of Tycko & Zavareei LLP have helped whistleblowers across the country shed light on fraud against the government and have secured many multi-million dollar settlements. If you have evidence of government contracts fraud, including defense contractor fraud, contact the skilled qui tam attorneys of Tycko & Zavareei LLP for a free legal consultation.