No matter where you live, you’ve probably seen it—highways being built, roads being repaired or widened, and massive buildings slowly growing towards the sky. It seems like many towns and cities are in a constant state of construction. The federal government funds or assists many of these construction projects, and it can be a lot to keep an eye on.
Sometimes, contractors, sub-contractors, and other parties involved in government construction can cut corners and engage in illegal behavior in an attempt to make a profit. Construction fraud can hurt the government, cost taxpayers, and endanger lives. That’s why it’s important to take the right actions when you suspect fraud.
Spotting Construction Fraud
Construction fraud can be hard to detect. People have come up with many deceptive, under the table methods of benefitting from a construction project.
Examples of potential construction fraud can include:
- Intentionally misquoting project costs like labor and materials
- Bribery and kickbacks
- Falsifying documents and/or billable hours
- Change order manipulation
- Stealing materials
- Replacing a material with a lower-grade or reclaimed substitute
- Not following project specifications
- Failing to comply with laws and regulations
There are so many people involved in construction projects, which unfortunately leaves room for fraud. Any given project may involve project managers, suppliers, foremen, superintendents, consultants, and more. While many of these people are honest and hard-working individuals, some are not. Fraudulent actions are illegal and unacceptable, and you should know how to handle them if they arise.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer and Protect Your Rights
If you suspect government construction fraud, contact an experienced lawyer right away. Attorney James H. Shoemaker, Jr. can advise you on what steps you should take next and help you understand your rights. Do not talk to other parties about your concerns during this time unless advised to do so by Mr. Shoemaker, as this can hurt your case.
People who report fraudulent behavior are often referred to as whistleblowers. As a whistleblower, you are legally protected in a number of ways. Under the Federal False Claims Act, employees and citizens are able to file a lawsuit on behalf of the federal government or other agencies for fraudulent actions committed against them.
Other statues and laws are also in place to defend your rights. Mr. Shoemaker will help ensure that your rights are protected and that any illegal retaliation is mitigated and dealt with.
Whistleblowers are often eligible to receive a portion of the recovery that is obtained, and this number can be quite high in some cases. However, you must be the first whistleblower to file a case, so act quickly.
If you are considering filing a qui tam lawsuit to expose fraud, you need an experienced government construction fraud attorney on your side. Mr. Shoemaker provides complimentary consultations* for whistleblower cases. Call 757-223-4580 to schedule your case evaluation today.
As a partner in the law firm Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein (PWHD), Mr. Shoemaker is able to serve clients in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Washington D.C., and throughout the United States.