When dealing with the government, companies need to be careful of overselling their products and services. Many times companies in Wisconsin and elsewhere may end up crossing the line of legality by misrepresenting their services or product in order to obtain larger profits. One company was accused of doing just this when a whistleblower turned the company in to the authorities for violations of the False Claims Act.
The complaint was filed in Nov. 2012 by the United States against The Gallup Organization. The allegations claimed that the defendant company purposely overstated its approximated labor hours in its proposals sent to the U.S. Mint and State Department regarding task orders and contracts. This caused the government to pay overly inflated prices as a result of granting Gallup the contracts without competition.
Gallup has agreed to pay $10.5 million in order to settle the most recent conflict. It also serves to settle another conflict in which Gallup was accused of negotiating improperly for an employment contract with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The whistleblower was also reimbursed with a payment of $1,929,363 for his role in helping the government recover the funds it was overcharged.
This case illustrates how a person in Wisconsin or in any other state who stands up for what is right can not only be protected but also be rewarded thanks to the False Claims Act. However, entering into a legal battle with a large corporation can be intimidating. Therefore, having knowledge of the applicable laws and court procedures and how to use them to protect oneself is quite important.
Source: Corporate Crime Reporter, “Gallup to Pay $10.5 Million to Settle False Claims Act Case, Gets Non Prosecution Agreement,” July 15, 2013