March 27, 2014 — When military contractors file false claims with the government, American taxpayers shoulder the burden. Company insiders who stumble across unethical scams to bilk the military may wonder how they can work to stop the practice. The federal False Claims Act gives conscientious tipsters the ability to file a lawsuit for the government’s benefit. To reward whistleblowers who notify the government, the qui tam language in the statute entitles them to share in any recovery.
MPRI Allegedly Filed False Claims with Government on Contract to Provide Support to Army in Afghanistan
MPRI Inc., a military contractor based in Virginia, will pay $3.2 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the company submitted false claims to the government for purported labor to fulfill a contract to support the Army in Afghanistan. In reality, the qui tam lawsuit alleged, MPRI billed the government for work said to be done by employees who were out of the country at the time.
The tipster in the False Claims Act case was Byron Scott Lankford, a former MPRI employee who worked in Afghanistan as a contract support official and finance officer from 2007 to 2009. Lankford’s share of the settlement, reports the Justice Department, is $576,000.
MPRI contracted with the Army to assist in designing and creating a modern and effective Afghan national security system. MPRI was to lend support for the development and management of core systems for the Afghan Ministry of Defense and others. In addition, MPRI was to provide training in a variety of fields, including intelligence, logistics and installation.
From 2005 to 2010, however, MPRI allegedly billed the government for time spent by employees who were not even there.
Collaborating to End False Claims Act Violations Against the U.S. Military
The whistleblower attorneys with Waters & Kraus recognize that many insiders feel intimidation to keep the lid on billing scams that cheat the government. We’ve represented many whistleblowers in your situation. Contact us by email or phone our False Claims Act lawyers at 855.784.0268. With offices in the Washington D.C. area, near where the violations in this case occurred, as well as Texas and California, we’re ready to protect your rights and interests throughout the qui tam process.