may collect $411K in Fraud Case Involving Government Vendor
Two men who blew the whistle on a government vendor may soon
receive nearly half a million dollars for the role they played in
reporting fraud involving government contracts.
Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), an information technology
and business services company, agreed to pay $1,370,000 to settle
allegations that it solicited and received improper payments and other
things of value on technology contracts with government agencies
according to the United States Department of Justice. The settlement
resolves an action against CSC under the qui tam provisions of the False
Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730, filed by Norman J. Rille and
Neal A. Roberts in September 2004. After an investigation, the
Department of Justice joined the action.
The False Claims Act allows a private individual or "whistleblower",
with knowledge of past or present fraud on the federal government, to
sue on behalf of the government to recover stiff civil penalties and
Fraud under the False Claims Act means that a contractor has
knowingly presented a false claim for payment to the United States. The
fraud can occur wherever federal or state monies are directly or
indirectly used to purchase services or goods.
The complaint against CSC alleged that the company knowingly
solicited and/or received payments of money and other things of value,
known as alliance benefits, from a number of companies with whom it had
global alliance relationships. The government intervened in these
actions because the alliance relationships and resulting alliance
benefits amount to kickbacks and undisclosed conflict of interest
relationships in violation of contractual provisions and the applicable
provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations.
The action against CSC is part of a larger ongoing investigation of
government technology vendors and consultants that has already resulted
in the filing of complaints in April 2007 in Arkansas against Accenture,
LLP (Accenture), Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) and Sun Microsystems Inc.
(Sun). The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow persons who
file successful actions alleging fraud against the government to receive
a share of any resulting recovery.
The False Claims Act was enacted during the Civil War. The law was
targeted at stopping dishonest suppliers to the Union military at a time
when the war effort made it all but impossible for the government to
investigate and prosecute the fraud itself. Today it serves a similar
purpose because of the size and complexity of federal and state
government and the variety or government vendors competing for contracts
involving taxpayer funds.
Generally, only the whistleblower who is the first to file a lawsuit
can be rewarded for reporting the fraud. Even if one person uncovers the
fraud, someone else can file the lawsuit first and bar the first
whistleblower from sharing in any recovery, according to Qui Tam Online,
a network of attorneys who have recovered over $150 million in
taxpayers' money falsely billed to the United States by government
Rille and Roberts, who brought the CSC case to light, will receive an
amount to be determined in the near future. The Act provides that
whistleblowers may receive from 15-30 percent of the government's total
recovery. One, or both of them could collect as much as $411.000 in the
What you can do:
If you are an individual with information involving fraud by
government vendors and have been contemplating blowing the whistle,
LegalMatch.com can put you in touch with local attorneys to help you
safely bring your case forward. The service is
free and confidential.
If you are an attorney with a False Claims case,
Qui Tam Online will give you an overview of the law, identify the
unique procedural provisions of Qui Tam practice (which might deny your
client a recovery) and put you in touch with experienced Qui Tam
Practitioners who can help you with your case.
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