Military Contractor Fraud Lawyers
The False Claims Act and the process of qui tam lawsuits began during the Civil War, as a tool to help the US Army uncover fraudulent practices by private contractors. By giving civilians who were aware of military fraud the power to speak out and act in the Government’s best interest, the False Claims Act put a stop to many deceptive and dangerous practices and dealings on the part of companies hired by the Government to support the military – practices which wasted taxpayer money and Government resources, and ultimately put the lives of soldiers at undue risk.
FCA protects & rewards whistleblowers who report fraud against the government.
The use of the False Claims Act has expanded much since then, now covering many more interactions between the Government and private industry. Many other areas of fraud have proven more costly to the Government – health care fraud and pharmaceutical fraud in particular – but fraud against the US military is still a large concern, with military qui tam lawsuits bringing in several hundred million dollars in recouped losses each year. Whistblowers who report the fraud and are instrumental in recovering the government’s losses can receive 15 to 30 percent of the proceeds of the action or settlement of the claim (The percentage varies upon the government’s involvement in the pursuit of the case).The award to the whistleblower can be quite substantial.
The simplest form of fraud that the military fights under the False Claims Act is pricing fraud. Civilian contractors can easily present bills to the Government for goods and services that are priced far higher than they normally should or would be in a non-military setting. Some contractors even attempt to shift expenses from other jobs in order to pad Government contracts, or falsify expense classifications in order to dodge caps placed on the amount of reimbursement they can receive for certain types of work.
While this sort of behavior is underhanded and expensive for both the Government and the taxpayer, other forms of military fraud carry another, higher price – that of human lives.
The US military often relies on privately owned defense contractors to provide equipment to soldiers, to build vehicles and to supply spare parts for maintenance in the field. These items are crucial to the safety and effectiveness of troops, and must be rigorously tested to ensure their quality and proper function. If a contractor cuts corners and supplies the military with improperly tested or faulty equipment, then the lives and well-being of service men and women are put in jeopardy. Faulty munitions can cause premature explosions, improperly tested armor can offer no defense in combat situations, and defective parts may cause vehicles to break down or possibly crash.
A civilian contractor who knowingly provides the Government falsified test results and inaccurate equipment specifications is willingly risking the lives of military personnel in order to increase their profit margins. This kind of behavior is exactly what first inspired Congress to institute the False Claims Act, and the reason qui tam lawsuits remain such an important part of the legal system today.
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Defense contractor fraud remains one of the most active areas of false claims litigation under the Federal False Claims Act. Billions of dollars have already been recovered from defense contractors, largely as a result of qui tam whistleblowers acting under the Federal False Claims Act.
The lawyers in the national qui tam whistleblower practice of Maggiano DiGirolamo & Lizzi have proven experience fighting for whistleblowers in federal and state false claims cases. Act Now.