October was a good month for whistleblowers who reported that their employers were submitting false claims for labor charges to the government.
Boeing Overbilled the Air Force
In another recent case alleging overbilling billing by a defense contractor, Boeing paid $23 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by current and former Boeing employees under the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers alleged that Boeing knowingly billed the Air Force for labor hours charged simultaneously to more than one contract, for hours charged to contracts after they were completed, for hours charged to the wrong contract, and for hours charged to aircraft maintenance jobs when the time actually was spent on other, non-chargeable activities.
“Defense contractors are required to obey strict accounting standards when submitting billing for work performed on government contracts,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman the Western District of Texas. The government alleged that Boeing improperly charged labor costs under contracts with the Air Force for the maintenance and repair of C-17 Globemaster aircraft at Boeing’s Aerospace Support Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The Globemaster, which is both manufactured and maintained by Boeing, is one of the military’s major systems for transporting troops and cargo throughout the world. The government alleged that the company knowingly and improperly billed a variety of labor costs in violation of applicable contract requirements, including for time its mechanics spent at meetings not directly related to the contracts.
Whistleblowers Are Rewarded
The whistleblowers will receive $3.91 million in reward for bringing the False Claims Act case and assisting the government in the investigation and resolution of the case, according to the Department of Justice.
You should know that by blowing the whistle, you could share up to 30% of the money recovered. If you’re aware of a company that intentionally overbills the government to profit illegally at taxpayers’ expense, contact us for a confidential evaluation of your matter. Remember, whistleblowers are entitled to protection against retaliation.