Connecticut-based Louis Dreyfus Energy Services has paid $4,084,000 to the U.S. government to settle allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act when it failed to pay funds owed on natural gas that it acquired from the Department of the Interior.
According to the Justice Department, the U.S. government alleged that Louis Dreyfus Energy made false claims against the Department of the Interior between 2004 and 2008 concerning contracts to purchase natural gas that was the product of federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. When the contract was negotiated, Louis Dreyfus Energy agreed to pay for natural gas at a price based on delivery of the gas at a fixed point on the gas pipeline.
After the contracts with the Interior Department had been executed, Louis Dreyfus Energy asked for and received a price discount from the Interior Department for natural gas under a complete or near-complete constraint in the natural gas pipeline that prevented Louis Dreyfus from transporting natural gas through the pipeline. Louis Dreyfus Energy underpaid the Department of the Interior, however, because it paid based on the discounted price even when the company was able to ship natural gas through the pipeline. This alleged underpayment formed the basis for the government’s claims against Louis Dreyfus Energy.
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.