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A voluntary disclosure to USAID by one of its largest not-for-profits led the agency to suspend the entity for potential false claims and lack of internal controls, resulting in the board of directors forcing the resignation of the entity’s leadership team and hiring our lawyers to resolve the matters. When the agency refused to lift the suspension due to the lack of trustworthy internal controls and the entity was on the brink of shuttering its doors, our lawyers successfully negotiated a grand bargain to transfer nearly all of the programs, assets, and employees to another not-for-profit and settle the False Claims Act (FCA) investigation.
Search warrants executed simultaneously on both coasts triggered an aggressive investigation of alleged Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) violations. First, we persuaded the U.S. Attorney to terminate its criminal case. Next, we convinced the Department of Justice’s Civil Frauds division that the case had no merit. Finally, we obtained a dismissal on motion of a pending qui tam case. After winning on all fronts, the client was able to submit and recover allowable costs of defense, including legal fees.
Foreign government cyber hacking of a federal agency produced front page news and a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) False Claims Act (FCA) investigation of the service contractor that built and maintained the agency’s cyber security system. We rebutted allegations that critical cyber infrastructure was missing, out of date, and technically deficient. The DOJ dropped its investigation and the company made a small, five figure settlement with the agency.
Press reports accusing our client of using inflated labor categories on a billion dollar contract triggered an eight year False Claims Act (FCA) investigation. Eventually, our appeal to senior attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division brought an end to the FCA investigation and cleared the way for the client to negotiate an administrative settlement with the contracting agency resulting in a net payment to the client of millions of dollars.
September 23, 2016, Inside Government Contracts
The Fourth Circuit recently held, in an unpublished opinion, that the anti-retaliation or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) protect an individual’s efforts to stop a contractor from violating the FCA, even when there is no “distinct possibility” of litigation. This “distinct possibility” standard was adopted prior to 2009 when the ...
June 22, 2016, Inside Government Contracts
The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA” or the “Board”) recently issued an opinion addressing several important, and controversial, topics of interest to government contractors. The lengthy opinion addressed key issues related to the Board’s jurisdiction over government claims and affirmative defenses based on alleged contractor fraud, the ...
June 20, 2016, Inside Government Contracts
Last week, in Universal Health Services Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the viability of the “implied false certification” theory of False Claims Act liability, at least in certain circumstances. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Thomas explained that a defendant can face FCA liability under an implied certification ...
May 6, 2016, Inside Government Contracts
On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (“RRB”) issued an interim final rule adjusting civil False Claims Act (“FCA”) and Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act (“PFCRA”) monetary penalty amounts for the RRB. The interim final rulemaking resulted in an increase of the PFCRA maximum to $10,781 and a new FCA range of $10,781-$21,563. … Continue Reading
March 23, 2016, Inside Government Contracts
In U.S. ex rel. Beauchamp v. Academi Training Ctr., LLC, the Fourth Circuit recently determined that the public disclosure rule did not necessarily bar a False Claims Act (“FCA”) qui tam suit where the plaintiff amended its complaint with details gained from a news story that was published online after its prior complaint was filed. … Continue Reading
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December 14, 2015, Inside Government Contracts
On December 3rd, the Department of Justice released its annual summary of recoveries in False Claims Act (FCA) cases. Although down from last year’s $5.69 billion, this year’s recoveries of $3.5 billion demonstrate the power that the government wields to drive settlements of fraud allegations. Of the $3.5 billion, $1.1 billion in recoveries are attributable … ...
November 16, 2015, Inside Government Contracts
On October 31, 2015, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (CoFC) in Horn & Associates, Inc. v. United States (No. 08-415C) rejected three fraud-based counterclaims that were filed by the U.S. Government in response to a breach of contract action brought by the plaintiff, Horn & Associates (Horn), through a certified claim under the Contract … Continue Reading
October 21, 2015, Inside Government Contracts
Following an 8-2 en banc decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit earlier this month, potential relators may think twice before bringing their False Claims Act (“FCA”) qui tam suits in the Eighth Circuit. In Rille v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 11-3514 (8th Cir. Oct. 5, 2015), the Court vacated a … Continue Reading
July 29, 2015, Inside Government Contracts
United States ex rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic Concepts, Inc., No. 12-55396 (9th Cir. July 2015) is one of many recent decisions limiting a contractor’s ability to dismiss False Claims Act (“FCA”) lawsuits at an early stage of the litigation. In Hartpence, the Ninth Circuit resurrected two FCA cases in one sweeping decision by interpreting the … Continue ...
July 10, 2015, Inside Government Contracts
In the recently decided U.S. ex rel. Heath v. AT&T Inc., No. 14-7094 (June 23, 2015), the D.C. Circuit rejected the general consensus of the circuit courts and held that the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) first-to-file rule is not jurisdictional. This decisions creates a circuit split between the D.C. Circuit and the First, Fourth, Fifth, … Continue Reading
April 2015, Transparency International UK - Defence and Security Programme