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Whistleblowers In Defense Contractor Lawsuit To Receive $4.4M

Branches of the United States military often rely on contractors to provide services to benefit the Armed Forces. Defense contractors employ civilians to perform these services. Yet, if a defense industry contractor seeks to pad its own bottom line through overbilling, the federal government may not necessarily be able to detect fraudulent billing practices. For that reason, the federal False Claims Act allows private individuals to bring forth information about unfair and unlawful billing practices to protect taxpayers and the government from fraudulent practices.

Branches of the United States military often rely on contractors to provide services to benefit the Armed Forces. Defense contractors employ civilians to perform these services. Yet, if a defense industry contractor seeks to pad its own bottom line through overbilling, the federal government may not necessarily be able to detect fraudulent billing practices. For that reason, the federal False Claims Act allows private individuals to bring forth information about unfair and unlawful billing practices to protect taxpayers and the government from fraudulent practices.

Navy Contractor Allegedly Overcharged The Navy

Recently, the Department of Justice settled a lawsuit that alleged a defense contractor that supplied husbandry services for the U.S. Navy in ports throughout the world. Authorities say that the large defense contractor overcharged the government for a wide range of husbandry services, including providing Navy vessels with waste removal, ship-to-shore transportation, telephone access services, as well as supplies of food and similar goods.

Recently, the Department of Justice settled a lawsuit that alleged a defense contractor that supplied husbandry services for the U.S. Navy in ports throughout the world. Authorities say that the large defense contractor overcharged the government for a wide range of husbandry services, including providing Navy vessels with waste removal, ship-to-shore transportation, telephone access services, as well as supplies of food and similar goods.

Federal officials say that the contractor knowingly overcharged the Navy through invoices that overstated the amount of goods and overbilled for services provided from 2005 to 2014. In some instances, the contractor double-billed the Navy for services, according to the lawsuit.

The defense contractor, Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited, denies any wrongdoing in the settlement. Nonetheless, the contractor agreed to settle the federal claim for $20 million. The three whistleblowers who initiated the lawsuit under the qui tam provision of the FCA will reportedly receive $4.4 million.

A Useful Tool To Recover Taxpayer Money Obtained Through Fraud

The False Claims Act dates back to the Civil War. Originally the law was designed to control fraud in contracts for goods purchased by the Union Army. As an incentive to come forward with evidence of fraud in government contracts, whistleblowers are generally entitled to receive a percentage of the money the government is able to recover through settlement or verdict after trial.

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