A significant amount of military in the Hampton Roads region results in many government contracts. These defense and construction contracts often fall victim to fraudulent practices. Billions of dollars have been recovered as a result of fraud committed against the government in defense contracting, including fraud against the Department of Defense (DoD).
If you have specific knowledge about defense contracting fraud, the accomplished attorneys at Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein can help you pursue your whistleblower case. Call our Anti Fraud Law Group today at (757) 223-4536 for your confidential consultation.
Common Examples of Defense Contracting Fraud
Government contractor fraud is committed in many ways and often involves fraud against both the federal and state governments:
- Contractor Compliance Violations: When the contractor fails to certify or falsely certifies compliance with the pertinent regulatory and/or safety standards or when a contractor knowingly providing products, goods, or services to the government that do not meet compliance requirements, the contractor violates the False Claims Act. These violations are often the most dangerous to our military personnel because they result in substandard equipment being supplied and utilized in the field.
- Government Contractor Wage Fraud: Contractors are required to submit payroll certifications that all workers on the project (including those of subcontractors) have been paid the appropriate prevailing wage in compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act. Falsification of these certifications or the failure to make reasonable inquiry into the wages paid by subcontracts can result in a False Claims Act violation. Damages in these cases can be significant because courts may hold the contractor liable for the entire amount of prevailing wages that should have been paid, not just the difference between actual wages and prevailing wages.
- Bidding and Kick-Back Violations: Contractors are forbidden by the False Claims Act from colluding on bids for government work, such as agreeing not to bid on a project so one company will get the job, as it may result in higher prices for the government. Contractors also cannot give kick-backs to gain an unfair advantage in bidding on contracts. These kick-backs often come in the form of requiring a certain person be hired as an employee or consultant as a condition of getting the contract awarded.
- Cross Charging: A contractor cannot shift billing from one project to another. For example, a contractor with multiple government contracts cannot have employees bill their time to a cost-plus contract when they are actually performing work for the other fixed price contract the company has with the government.
- Front-End Loading: Government construction contractors typically get paid based upon the progress that they have made on a job. Misrepresenting the amount of work that has been completed to obtain more money toward the beginning of the project is known as “front-end loading” and is clearly a violation of the False Claims Act.
- Improper Product Substitution: When a contractor substitutes a lower-quality product than what is called for in the contract at any time during the contract, it is a violation of the False Claims Act.
Blow the Whistle on Defense Contracting Fraud
In addition to the significant financial incentives (up to 30% of the government recovery in some cases) that may be available to a whistleblower for coming forward and pursuing a case, government contractor fraud cases can save the federal and state governments millions or even billions of dollars. Further, these cases help protect the lives of our servicemen and women who may otherwise be endangered by faulty or substandard materials and other risks associated with fraud.
Our Anti Fraud Law Group works closely with a group of local attorneys on defense contracting fraud cases to help each whistleblower fully identify government contractor fraud schemes and develop the case against them.
Call Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein today at (757) 223-4536 to speak with an experienced defense contracting fraud attorney in our Anti Fraud Law Group. Your whistleblower consultation is free and confidential. Based in Newport News, we represent clients throughout Virginia and the nation.