April 15, 2013 — Government contractor CDW-Government LLC (CDW-G) has resolved False Claims Act charges against it in a $5.66 million settlement. The contractor’s alleged fraudulent conduct came to light when Joe Liotine, a former sales representative with CDW-G, filed a federal lawsuit for the government’s benefit in East Saint Louis, Illinois. The False Claims Act contains qui tam language that permits private individuals (called “relators”) to retain a share of any judgment or settlement the government receives as a result of the lawsuit. The whistleblower’s share in this case is $1,336,098. In addition, the tipster may be eligible to receive attorneys’ fees and costs from CDW-G.
When businesses that contract to supply products to the U.S. government don’t abide by the terms of the contract, they violate the federal False Claims Act. It is a privilege to do business with the government and can be extremely profitable. But there are rules to be followed to ensure that the American taxpayers receive a fair deal. In this case, the government alleged that CDW-G broke the rules.
Based in Illinois, CDW-G is a reseller that supplies the government with equipment, information technology, office supplies and services. According to the Justice Department, CDW-G made false claims related to a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). From 1999 to 2011, CDW-G allegedly engaged in the following misconduct:
- Selling Trade Agreements Act prohibited U.S. products made in China.
- Billing the government for disallowed shipping charges.
- Underreporting sales to escape the Industrial Funding Fees.
Insiders Notify Government of False Claims Act Violations
As in this case, government contractors that engage in misconduct in their contracts with the federal government are often reported by insider employees who refused to stay quiet about the scheme. Prior to notifying the government, whistleblowers deserve to know their rights under the False Claims Act. The experienced lawyers at Waters & Kraus provide government collaborators with aggressive legal representation in government contractor fraud litigation. Contact us or call our qui tam attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about how we safeguard the interests of relators in False Claims Act cases.