Buy American Act Fraud: Contractor To Pay $3 Million

A government contractor will pay a total of $3 million to resolve civil and criminal allegations that it violated the Buy American Act by using non-compliant foreign materials on federally funded construction projects–and falsified documents in an attempt to hide its violations.

According to a Department of Justice Press release, Novum Structures LLC not only will pay $3 million, but will be debarred from federal contracting.

Continue reading

HUBZone Fraud: $250,000 Settlement In “Virtual Office” Case

A small business and its owner have agreed to pay $250,000 to resolve HUBZone fraud allegations, including a claim that the company’s HUBZone office was a “virtual” location where no employees actually worked.

According to a Department of Justice press release, Air Ideal, Inc. and its majority owner have also agreed to pay the government five percent of the company’s gross revenues over the next five years.

Continue reading

HUBZone Fraud: Government Alleges “Virtual Office” Scheme

A HUBZone contractor has been accused of HUBZone program fraud for allegedly falsely claiming to be located in a HUBZone, when in fact the office in question was a “virtual office” where no employees worked.

According to a Department of Justice press release, the contractor not only misrepresented its principal office location, but submitted a fabricated lease to the SBA as part of its HUBZone application.

Continue reading

GSA Schedule Sales of Chinese Products Result In $2.3 Million False Claims Settlement

Sales of Chinese products off the GSA Schedule has resulted in a $2.3 million False Claims Act settlement.

According to a Department of Justice press release, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has agreed to the settlement to resolve allegations that Samsung informed GSA Schedule resellers that certain products were manufactured in “designated countries” under the Trade Agreements Act, when in fact those products were manufactured in China.

Continue reading

Contractor To Pay $5.65 Million In GSA Price Reduction Clause False Claims Case

A New York government contractor has agreed to pay $5.65 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act by failing to comply with the Price Reduction Clause in its GSA Schedule contract.

The hefty settlement is a strong reminder that the GSA takes the Price Reduction Clause very seriously, and that failing to abide by the Price Reduction Clause can lead to significant repercussions.

Continue reading

False WOSB Self-Certifications Potentially Rampant, Says NASA OIG

False or incorrect women-owned small business self-certifications may be a significant government-wide problem, according to a recent audit report issued by the NASA Office of Inspector General.

The NASA OIG report states that in a study of sampled awards to self-certified WOSBs, 7 out of 20 awardees, or 35 percent, “may not have met the criteria for a woman-owned small business.”  Noting that these firms won nearly $75 million in government business in 2010 alone, the NASA OIG has referred its report to the SBA and GAO, concerned about a “potential Government-wide effect of this condition.” Continue reading

The False Claims Act, Lance Armstrong, and “Reps & Certs”

On Friday, the Department of Justice joined a False Claims Act lawsuit against Lance Armstrong.

Among his many troubles, Lance Armstrong now has a big government contracts problem on his hands–and Lance’s problem can provide an important lesson about “representations and certifications” for the less-famous government contractors among us.

Continue reading