May 16, 2013 — When businesses that contract to perform services for the U.S. military bill the American taxpayers for work they never even performed, those contractors violate the federal False Claims Act. Under the qui tam provisions of that statute, contractor employees and other individuals with information concerning a fraudulent billing scheme against the U.S. are authorized to file a lawsuit on the government’s behalf. When the case goes to trial or is settled, the whistleblower is entitled to a share of any monies received. Government contracts are highly prized and can be extremely profitable for many contractors. But contractors have to deal fairly and honestly with the government. In this case, the government alleges that a Dallas, Texas contractor violated the False Claims Act by billing for services the company did not in fact do.
Texas Military Contractor Alleged to Have Fraudulently Billed Marines, Air Force
A Dallas military contractor has consented to pay $750,000 to resolve allegations that the company made false claims to the government for work never performed, reports NBC.
Crash Rescue Equipment Service, Inc. (CRES), established in 1967, maintains firefighting and rescue equipment at busy airports, remanufactures heavy equipment for the international aviation industry, and is involved in the oil business, as well as other industries.
Over the years, the company has been awarded millions of dollars in military contracts. But between August 2006 and July 2010, CRES violated the federal False Claims Act by billing the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force for emergency vehicle overhauls that in reality were never performed.
According to CRES attorney Jim King, the government contractor was purchased in 2007 by new owners, who learned that the emergency vehicle work had not been performed properly on the Marine and Air Force contracts. CRES self-reported the misconduct. As part of the settlement, CRES will pay $750,000, plus interest, over the next five years. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Dallas would not reveal whether a related criminal investigation is underway.
Company Insiders Notify U.S. of False Claims Act Violations
In this case, the government contractor itself notified the government about its own fraudulent billings. But False Claims Act violations frequently come to light when they are reported by insider employees who want no part of a scheme against the U.S. government. Before stepping forward, whistleblowers should learn their rights under the False Claims Act. The knowledgeable lawyers at Waters & Kraus provide tipsters with the legal representation they deserve in government contractor fraud litigation. Contact us by email or call our experienced attorneys at 855.784.0268 to discuss how we safeguard the interests of government collaborators in False Claims Act cases.