Serving Clients in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Washington D.C. & Throughout the U.S.
The US government doesn't own arms factories. It doesn't manufacture its own military equipment. Instead, the federal government relies on independent contractors to build the equipment that supports soldiers, sailors and airmen in far-flung locations.
Competition for these contracts is, theoretically, quite fierce. These are big contracts, and they can make or break some companies. Because of this, the incentive to engage in fraud is always there.
When defense contractors engage in fraud, it's often whistleblowers who bring the crime to the government's attention. But who protects whistleblowers? Defense contractor fraud lawyer James Shoemaker does – he's been working in this field for decades and knows how to protect you as you do the right thing and blow the whistle.
If you're aware of Department of Defense fraud, you should speak to our lawyer immediately. Please call James Shoemaker today at 757.223.4560. Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein is located in Virginia, but we welcome cases from across the country.
Examples of Defense Contractor Fraud
The defense industry in the US is massive, and at any given moment there are billions of dollars worth of active defense contracts. Monitoring all of them is essentially impossible, which means catching fraud is difficult.
This is where whistleblowers come in. Ethical, concerned citizens play an incredibly important role in catching defense contractor fraud. But they must be incentivized and protected, or none will come forward.
Our defense contractor fraud lawyer can help you if you've become aware of such fraud, including:
- The use of inadequate materials
- Failure to meet contractual specifications
- Procurement contract fraud
- Corruption in the bidding process
- Falsifying records
These cases don't just cost taxpayers money – they put American troops in danger. They're not acceptable.
The decision to blow the whistle on defense contractor fraud is a noble one. But a noble decision doesn't always work out- many people have tried to do the right thing and suffered for it.
"Mr. Shoemaker has represented many relators in False Claims Act and Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower actions. His clients have participated in cases that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars being returned to government agencies and his clients earning several millions of dollars in whistleblower awards. Mr. Shoemaker’s experience as an employment lawyer makes him a more effective qui tam lawyer. In several of these cases, parallel retaliation claims were also asserted that afforded his clients significant additional recoveries."
Will I be Anonymous as a Whistleblower to Defense Contractor Fraud?
Allegations against defense contractors are made under the False Claims Act. This Act began way back in 1863, during the time of the Civil War. The False Claims act files claims under what's called a federal seal. This is a court order that keeps the identity of the whistleblower secret from the defendants as well as the public. The federal seal lasts from one to three years, and sometimes longer.
The protection provided by the False Claims Act makes it much easier to step forward with a report of fraudulent behavior on the part of a defense contractor. The time during which whistleblower identity is known to no one allowed the prosecution to thoroughly investigate the reports without compromising the whistleblower's employment with the defendant they have reported.
Defense contractor fraud lawyer James Shoemaker has decades of experience working in this field. He understands the complex litigation that can be involved in these cases and works with you to ensure that you are provided the maximum protection under the law so you can step forward with confidence.
Is it Worth it to Blow the Whistle on Defense Contractor Fraud?
We get it. Being a whistleblower isn't easy! We all want to believe that all defense contractors uphold the strong work ethic that our country's military personnel deserve. Several False Claims Act cases have been successfully concluded over the years. Examples include the following:
- Product substitution with defective combat earplugs. This relatively recent case, brought against 3M Company, claimed that the company knowingly sold defective dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs to the U.S. military. The company settled allegations with a $9.1 payout.
- Mischarging for food. In this case, the Kuwaiti company Agility Public Warehousing Co. KSCP reportedly overcharged the Department of Justice for food supplies to U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait. The company did not disclose or pass along the discounts they had received from their suppliers, resulting in a $95 million settlement.
- Negligent product substitution with defective bulletproof vests. The claim against multiple manufacturers and trading companies demonstrated that more than half of the Zylon fiber bulletproof vests failed to stop bullets as expected. None of the vests were fit for use, resulting in a settlement of over $132 million.
How Do I Report Defense Contractor Fraud?
There are three main ways in which defense contractor fraud may be reported. These include:
- The False Claims Act
- The IRS Whistleblower Program
- The SEC Whistleblower Program
The agency that receives the filing depends on the circumstances of the claims. Sometimes, we must file a claim with more than one of these programs. For example, if a defense contractor directly defrauds the U.S. government the resulting claim will most likely be filed under the False Claims Act. However, this situation may also require IRS whistleblower action. Because defense contractors are worldwide, they may also violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This scenario may be brought to the SEC Whistleblower Program.
As someone who may be considering reporting fraudulent behavior on the part of a defense contractor, what you need to know is that James Shoemaker, Jr. works with each client to fully develop the facts of their case while simultaneously ensuring the privacy to which they are entitled. Your report is a meaningful step in upholding the law. Once you consult with Mr. Shoemaker, you can expect the utmost action to be taken to build a strong foundation for the case.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Mr. Shoemaker can ensure your rights as a whistleblower are protected. We'll help you navigate the False Claims Act, protect you from retaliation and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.
If you need an experienced defense contractor fraud lawyer to help with your False Claims Act case, please call James Shoemaker today at 757.223.4560. You can also click here to submit an email contact form to our office, and we’ll get back to you at our earliest convenience.