Not unlike any other business, the government purchases or “procures” billions of dollars-worth of goods and services from private contractors to keep its operations running. These procurements can include everything from fighter jets and new bridges to printers and paper clips. Unfortunately, dishonest contractors find numerous ways to defraud the government during its process of procuring goods and services. This is called procurement fraud.
Procurement fraud cheats the government and tax-payers out of millions of dollars every year. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers may be entitled to 15 to 30% of subsequent damages in a qui tam case against their employer. Our experienced whistleblower attorneys understand the complexities of these claims and can help determine if you have a case.
Common Types of Procurement Fraud
Procurement fraud can take many forms. Some of the most common types of procurement fraud include:
- Supplying inferior products or services: When contractors knowingly or deliberately provide goods or services that fail to meet the standards specified in a contract, they may be considered guilty of procurement fraud.
- Overcharging for goods or services: This type of procurement fraud can occur in a variety of ways, including submitting inflated or false invoices, billing multiple times for single expense, or raising the price only after a bid has been won through inflated change orders.
- Bribes and kickbacks: Although monetary bribes and kickbacks can happen, corrupt payments frequently occur in the form of expensive gifts, credit cards, or intentional overpayments.
- Bid rigging: Also known as bid collusion, bid-rigging occurs when independent contractors corrupt the competition on a bid by secretly colluding together on a bid price. This type of fraud results in unfair industry-wide price increases.
Your Rights as a Whistleblower
If you are aware of procurement fraud occurring in your organization, you may be hesitant to expose the fraud for fear of retribution from your employer. However, the False Claims Act explicitly protects whistleblowers against workplace retaliation. This means that your employer cannot threaten, harass, or demote you. Your employer is also prohibited from cutting your pay or terminating your employment in retaliation for blowing the whistle.
Call Today to Learn More
You must act quickly. If you are not the first whistleblower to file your lawsuit, you may be cut out of the recovery.
If you are aware of procurement fraud, call 757-223-4580 today to schedule a consultation with Mr. Shoemaker. Located in Newport News, we welcome whistleblowers living in and around the Metro D.C. area.