Government contract fraud is unfortunately very common in federal procurement and services contracts. The federal government contracts so much of its work to the private sector that it can’t keep up with all of its contractors and their work. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has admitted it has no idea how many contractor employees the federal government relies on, or at what cost. That’s why taxpayers and the government rewards a federal contractor whistleblower who reports fraud in government procurement and other contracts.
Last year, the government recovered over $95 million from a defense contractor accused of defrauding the government by overcharging for the food it supplied U.S. troops. But the fraud was first discovered and reported by a federal contractor whistleblower who filed a lawsuit on the government’s behalf. After the government intervened and obtained its recovery, the whistleblower was awarded $38.85 million.
Whistleblowers can help the government police fraud in a number of different areas where the federal government enters into contracts for various goods and services.
Government contract fraud is common with defense contractors. Some of the most common types of defense contract fraud include:
The government spends billions of dollars to build our roads, bridges, and highways. The government awards contracts for these projects to private contractors through an auction system in which contractors bid against each other to see who can provide the cheapest contract to the government while still ensuring a modest profit. Greed, and a lack of effective oversight, can easily lead to government contract fraud.
There are many ways a contractor can commit fraud when securing or performing these contracts. They can engage in cross-charging and inflated billing as some defense contractors do, or they can engage in other forms of fraud, such as charging for services not performed, falsely certifying their compliance with contractual conditions and requirements, or using defective products.
Contractors can also commit fraud by rigging the bidding process for government contractors. This type of fraud includes entering into illegal agreements with other contractors to refrain from bidding on certain contracts (to drive the price up, and often in exchange for subcontracting work) or bribing government officials to award their firm the contract.
Farming is a vital part of the American economy, and the federal government provides over $20 billion annually in agricultural subsidies to farmers across the country.
While subsidies help keep domestic agricultural products affordable, farming subsidies are a major target for people wanting to commit government contract fraud. Due to a lack of oversight, many individuals and organizations have submitted fraudulent claims to the United States Department of Agriculture for those subsidies.
One common example of agricultural subsidies fraud is when a large farming operation splits itself into different parts and submits subsidy claims for each part. In one case, a Mississippi cotton farmer created 78 different corporations—three of which were called “Megabucks Farms,” Easy Money Farms,” and “Get Rich Farms”—and bilked the government out of $11 million.
Government contract fraud also occurs in connection with federal disaster relief programs. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, for example, the government announced that the Federal Emergency Management Authority had lost at least $1 billion due to fraudulent claims. FEMA is also the federal agency responsible for disasters such as terrorist attacks, earthquakes, wildfires, and snowstorms.
Fraud can arise from disaster relief in several ways. Some of the false claims come from individuals who lie about how they were affected by the disaster in order to receive large payments from FEMA, such as by claiming damage to a house they do not own or filing claims under other people’s names.
Disaster relief fraud also comes from private contractors who are responsible for cleaning up areas impacted by natural disasters and providing aid to victims. Fraud can occur when those contractors misallocate resources or submit false invoices to FEMA.
The U.S. government spends over $100 billion each year on scientific research, which can lead to advances in military technology, energy policy, medicine, agriculture, and other fields. Federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation are in charge of distributing these grants to universities and researchers.
Unfortunately, however, some of the institutions and individuals who receive these grants use the research funds inappropriately or falsify research to generate additional funding. Other examples include institutions that illegally profit off the research they conduct for the government or use the grant to fund unrelated research projects.
We have helped our whistleblower clients earn awards for reporting government contract fraud through extensive investigation and documentation, diligent preparation of winning whistleblower lawsuits, and our solid working relationship with government attorneys.
There are billions of dollars lost every year through government contract fraud. If you are aware of a business that is submitting false claims, or substandard equipment or services to the federal government, our firm may be able to help you file a whistleblower lawsuit and recover a substantial reward when the government collects the money it lost.
We have successfully represented clients in whistleblower claims and litigation in districts across the United States. Our firm has offices in Atlanta GA, Brunswick GA, Alexandria VA, and Washington DC, and we frequently travel to other cities and states to help whistleblowers file claims and recover rewards. Contact our firm and we will let you know if we can help. If we are not the best firm for your case, we will let you know what lawyer or law firm would be right for your case and we will refer you to them at no additional cost to you.
Page Pate and his partner Jess Johnson are top notch! Both are brilliant attorneys with incredible integrity. Page represented me in a successful 5 year long Whistleblower False Claims Act Case. Despite his busy schedule and prestigious reputation as one of the best Federal Trial Lawyers in the US, Page was unbelievably polite, respectful and took the time to listen, explain the process in its entirety and answer any questions. Page saw the potential of my case where the others didn’t. He and Jess worked very long hours preparing the claim, researching, making phone calls and attending meetings with me to assist the DOJ. I am still thanking God every day for Page Pate and Jess Johnson and their belief in me and their ability to make a $25M case out of what other expert Qui Tam attorneys saw as impossible.