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Monday, September 28, 2015
Defense Contractor L-3 Agrees To Pay $4.63 Million To Settle Overcharging Allegations
The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
L-3 Communications Corporation, Vertex Aerospace LLC and L-3 Communications Integrated Systems LP (collectively L-3) have agreed to pay $4.63 million to resolve allegations that they inflated labor hours for time spent by independent contractors at the military’s Continental U.S. Replacement Centers (CRC) in Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Bliss, Texas, preparing to deploy to overseas posts to support U.S. military operations abroad. The CRCs prepare individuals for deployment by providing orientation briefings, training, health screenings, payroll processing and addressing other administrative matters.
“The Justice Department is committed to vigorously pursuing all those who knowingly submit false claims under government contracts,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Contractors that seek taxpayer funds must be scrupulous in their billing, and invoice only for work and amounts permitted by their contracts.”
L-3 performed rotary aviation maintenance and support services for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Kuwait under contracts with the U.S. Air Force. The United States alleges that from 2006 through November 2011, L-3 knowingly overcharged the government for time their independent contractors spent at the CRCs by billing for each individual not based on the actual time that individual spent at the CRC, but based instead on the earliest arrival or latest departure time of any other individual who also processed through the center that same day.
“Contractors owe a duty to the taxpayers to accurately bill the United States for the actual work performed,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn of the Northern District of Georgia. “This settlement demonstrates our commitment to hold contractors accountable for false billing and restore wrongfully taken funds to the military.”
“This collaborative investigative effort reflects the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s commitment to protecting American taxpayers’ interests by ensuring integrity and accountability throughout the Defense contracting system,” said Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Southeast Field Office.
“Today’s settlement is a testament to the hard work of our special agents and also highlights the importance of the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act,” said Director Frank Robey of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. “In this particular case, a concerned citizen wasn’t afraid to speak up, alerted the proper authorities, and helped save the U.S. government millions of dollars.”
The allegations settled today arose from a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower, Robert A. Martin, a former L-3 independent contractor, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Under the act, private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the government for false claims and share in any recovery. Mr. Martin will receive $798,675 from the recovery announced today.
This case was handled by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia, with the assistance of DCIS, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.
The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Martin v. L-3 Communications Corp., et al.,1:10-CV-1622-CAP (N.D. Ga.). The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, cybercrime, street crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. His 'On Crime' column appears in the Washington Times and his 'Crime Beat' column appears here. He is also a regular contributor to Counterterrorism magazine and writes their online 'Threatcon' column. Paul Davis' crime fiction appears in American Crime Magazine. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Weekly and other publications. As a writer, he has attended police academy training, gone out on patrol with police officers, accompanied detectives as they worked cases, accompanied narcotics officers on drug raids, observed criminal court proceedings, visited jails and prisons, and covered street riots, mob wars and murder investigations. He has interviewed police commissioners and chiefs, FBI, DEA, HSI and other federal special agents, prosecutors, public officials, WWII UDT frogmen, Navy SEALs, Army Delta operators, Israeli commandos, military intelligence officers, Scotland Yard detectives, CIA officers, former KGB officers, film and TV actors, writers and producers, journalists, novelists and true crime authors, gamblers, outlaw bikers, and Cosa Nostra organized crime bosses. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970. He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War and he later served two years aboard the Navy harbor tugboat U.S.S. Saugus at the U.S. floating nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. He went on to do security work as a Defense Department civilian while working part-time as a freelance writer. From 1991 to 2005 he was a producer and on-air host of "Inside Government," a public affairs interview radio program that aired Sundays on WPEN AM and WMGK FM in the Philadelphia area. You can read Paul Davis' crime columns, crime fiction, book reviews and news and feature articles on this website. You can read his full bio by clicking on the above photo. And you can contact Paul Davis at email@example.com