Former Employee Blows the Whistle on Company Contracted to Perform Background Investigations for the U.S. Government
December 9, 2013 — Government agencies sometimes uncover False Claims Act violations by government contractors without help from insiders. Often, however, the government learns about false claims made by its contractors when someone inside the company blows the whistle. The False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions enable tipsters to redress fraud directly by filing a lawsuit in federal court for the U.S. government’s benefit. To reward whistleblowers with the fortitude to do the right thing, the statute gives informants the right to share any recovery made as a result of the suit.
False Claims Act Lawsuit Alleges United States Investigations Services Skipped Required Investigation Reviews to Meet Revenue Quotas
The United States government has intervened in a False Claims Act lawsuit filed against government contractor, United States Investigations Services LLC (USIS), in federal court in Alabama. The suit was brought by a whistleblower, Blake Percival, who is a former employee of USIS. After conducting its own investigation of the relator (as the whistleblower is referred to), the U.S. has asked the court to allow it until January, 2014, to file a complaint.
The whistleblower lawsuit claims that USIS, a Virginia company, did not conduct the necessary quality control reviews when it performed background investigations for the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Since 1996, OPM has relied on USIS to conduct investigations on people seeking a job with a number of federal agencies. In 2006, OPM entered into a contract with USIS that required a trained USIS Reviewer to complete a full review of the background investigations done on all applicants to make certain they met OPM standards. The review was to be finished prior to the time USIS returned an applicant’s file to OPM for processing.
The whistleblower complaint alleges that beginning in 2008, USIS began a practice USIS employees referred to as “dumping.” According to the Justice Department, USIS relied on the company’s own software program to send background investigations back to OPM even though the investigations had not been subjected to the full review process and therefore, were not complete under the terms of USIS’s contract with the government. USIS allegedly hid the practice from the government and submitted false claims to OPM, seeking payment for background investigations USIS knew did not satisfy the terms of its contract. By allegedly dumping applicants in this way, USIS was able to meet revenue targets and generate increased profits.
Blowing the Whistle on False Claims by Government Contractors
Employee insiders are, not surprisingly, the first to spot False Claims Act violations because they are frequently pressured into participating. That’s when many tipsters elect to notify the United States government in a False Claims Act lawsuit. The knowledgeable whistleblower lawyers at Waters & Kraus have often heard our clients describe the awkward and intimidating environment in which they’ve had to work. When you’re ready to collaborate to stop the fraud, contact us by emai or call our False Claims Act attorneys at 855.784.0268. With qui tam lawyers in Texas, California and Maryland, we’re here to make the process easier for you.