June 28, 2021 – The Government settled a case against a telecommunications and Internet service provider for $12.7 million, thanks to a whistleblower inside the company.
Under the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Act, and the Procurement Integrity Act, a former employee of the provider company brought claims on behalf of the government against the telecommunications company, with allegations including: kickbacks for better deals with specific subcontractors, improper insider bid information, and misrepresenting a contractor as a women-owned small business.
As part of a GSA contract, the telecommunications and internet service provider called Level 3 Communications, LLC subcontracted work to other companies. The owner of these two subcontractors allegedly paid kickbacks to the contractor’s managers, in exchange for favorable treatment and subcontracts.
Protected Bid Information Allegations:
One of the owners allegedly obtained and used protected bid contract information “to gain an advantage in bidding on task orders in the contract.”
Women-Owned Small Business Allegations:
In a U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract, the telecommunications and internet service provider knowingly misrepresented the women-owned small business to meet contractual obligations regarding subcontractor diversity.
The whistleblower, an employee of the contractor, reported this conduct to the federal government. One government official said, “Kickbacks paid in connection with government contracts defraud the American taxpayer and undermine the federal procurement process.”
The whistleblower is entitled to a share of the settlement ranging between 15-25% as a reward for reporting wrongdoing.
If you would like to report government contracts fraud, contact attorneys at Tycko & Zavareei LLP.
Eva Gunasekera and Renée Brooker are former officials of the United States Department of Justice and prosecuted whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act. Renée and Eva were senior officials in at the United States Department of Justice, the office that supervises False Claims Act cases in all 94 United States District Courts. Both successfully investigated government contractor fraud. Eva and Renee now represent whistleblowers. For a free consultation, contact Renée Brooker at [email protected] or 202-417-3664, or contact Eva Gunasekera at [email protected]. Visit Tycko & Zavareei LLP’s website for whistleblowers to learn more at https://www.fraudfighters.net/.