Qui Tam Lawsuits & Whistleblower Attorney
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Government contracts awarded to defense contractors are worth billions of dollars. The companies working to compete for these contracts have a responsibility to properly account for all taxpayer money, and provide safe equipment to the government.
With American lives and hard-earned money at stake, defense companies should act ethically and be sure not to waste funds for corporate profit alone. Should these companies fail to act in accordance with the law, employees acting as whistleblowers, under the False Claims Act (Qui Tam), may help the government recover millions of dollars and at the same time, may be personally compensated for their act.
Should the government choose to file a claim against a defense contractor and recover misappropriated funds, a whistleblower can expect to receive between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery from the defendant. To be eligible for an award under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower should file a qui tam lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney.
Informing the government about a certain workplace violation is not enough, and a whistleblower can only be eligible for an award after the government recovers money from a contractor as a result of a lawsuit.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated defense contractor whistleblower lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of workplace and government fraud claims.
Defense Contractor Fraud & Qui Tam Claims
It is believed that defense contractor fraud is quite common, primarily because of the vast amounts of money involved with each contract. The government is currently investigating several claims of fraud that may have occurred during the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Justice Department has recovered millions through whistleblower lawsuits relating to contracting fraud during the wars.
In 2014, the government recovered $434 million after Supreme Foodservice and Supreme Foodservice FZE, privately-held United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Swiss companies, pleaded guilty to fraud against the United States in connection with a contract to provide food and water to the U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
There are several kinds of defense contractor fraud that may result in injuries, misuse of government and taxpayer funds, and a subsequent lawsuit that may award whistleblowers for their brave assistance. Some contractor fraud cases, assisted by a defense contractor fraud lawyer in the past have included the following:
- Instances of gross overbilling
- Billing for services that were not provided
- Selling defective products
- Failing to complete safety tests on equipment
- Machinery or parts were not manufactured in accordance with contract specifications
- Failing to notify the government (customer) about defective products
- Charging for new parts and selling used parts
- Making false statements to win a contract
- Providing products that fail to comply with environmental standards
- Overstating the labor cost for a project
- Providing substandard products
- Destroying contract records
Recent Defense-Related Whistleblower Cases
- Lucas Industries and two U.S. subsidiaries paid the Government $88 million to settle a Qui Tam suit brought by a machinist who formerly worked for the company. The plaintiff accused Lucas of falsifying gear charts for a key component of Navy aircraft and major defects in gearboxes for an Army rocket system. Lucas Industries was barred from receiving new government defense contracts. The machinist who blew the whistle received over $18 million.
- General Dynamics paid $1.8 million to settle a suit for overbilling the government during fighter jet testing. The company allegedly falsified time cards for about 50 employees. The multiple whistleblowers received $405,000.
- Lockheed Martin and the Martin Marietta Corp. repaid the government $5.3 million after the companies allegedly overcharged the Department of Defense for research and development costs. The plaintiff who brought the case received $795,000.
- Hughes Aircraft Co. Inc. allegedly defrauded the government of over $4 million when it failed to perform tests on components used in military electronic equipment. The defense contractor fraud whistleblowers reportedly received $891,000.
- Under an Air Force repair contract, Teledyne allegedly altered and destroyed records. The government recovered $4.75 million and the individual who filed the case received over $800,000.
- United Technologies Corp. allegedly billed the Government for work it had not completed. An executive blew the whistle. The Federal Government settled the lawsuit for $150 million, and the whistleblower received $22.5 million.
Defense Contractor Whistleblower Lawyer
Some of the largest corporate names in America are the target of lawsuits when defense contractor fraud whistleblowers come forward. Employees of the following defense contracting companies may have a claim if they have witnessed the misappropriation of taxpayer money.
- Lockheed Martin
- Northrop Grumann
- General Dynamics
- Air Industries Group
- Hughes Aircraft Corp.
- L-3 Communications
- United Technologies Corp.
- Martin Marietta Corp.
Whistleblowers Protected from Retaliation
If you are hesitating to blow the whistle on fraud against the government, remember that if defense contractors supply the armed services with defective goods or equipment, soldiers’ lives are at risk.
Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can receive between 15 and 30 percent of the total amount collected by the federal government, which can amount to as much as three times the amount of the false claims. This amount can very and it is prudent to contact a defense contractor whistleblower lawyer.
By interacting with the government on your behalf, the Lyon Firm can help you maintain your confidentiality and protect you from retaliation. Whistleblower retaliation protections exists for employees of defense contractors, which ensure protection for providing information that the employee reasonably believes amounts to evidence of illegal, wasteful, or a substantially dangerous activity to public health or safety.
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
NO COST UNLESS WE WIN
The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
Questions about Whistleblower Claims
It is wise to consult with an attorney before you file a complaint against a defendant in a Qui Tam lawsuit. A whistleblower lawyer can assist plaintiffs in filing the relevant materials in a timely manner, work to obtain the most possible compensation, and protect plaintiffs against employer retaliation.
Whistleblowers able to provide information to the government that ends in recovering lost funds can expect to be rewarded from between 15 and 30 percent of the recovered amount. The reward will depend on the type of information provided, and other legal factors.
After filing a complaint against an employer or individual, highlighting fraudulent activity, the next step is to fight for rightful compensation, and protect yourself against employer retaliation. A whistleblower attorney can help make sure this does not happen.
A qui tam action is a lawsuit confidentially filed under seal in federal district court in accordance with Ohio and Federal Civil Procedure. A copy of the whistleblower complaint, with a written disclosure statement of all material evidence and information must be filed, in camera and under seal. The complaint and its contents is kept confidential until the seal is lifted. The complaint is not served on the defendant.
The False Claims Act allows persons and employees with evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts to sue the wrongdoer or employer on behalf of the United States government.
In whistleblower lawsuits, the government may intervene and join the legal action. If the government declines, the private plaintiff may proceed with an attorney.