Four whistleblowers will be awarded a sum of $3.9 million after reporting intentional overcharges made to the United States Air Force by airplane manufacturer Boeing. Boeing paid $23 million total in settlements after the allegations arose that the company defrauded taxpayers (who fund the Air Force budget) by deliberately charging too much money for maintenance done on aircraft in its San Antonio support center.
According to the reports filed by the whistleblowers, who were four former employees of the company, the Boeing managers handed down directions to subcontractors to overcharge costs of labor. To get around the rule that the labor was to be paid at one single fixed price, the company allegedly changed its work classifications. Boeing admitted to inappropriate billing between 2003 and 2007, but denied any intent on its part and claims to have retrained employees since the incidents occurred.
These overcharges would be considered violations of the False Claims Act (FCA), which prohibits companies from committing any type of fraud against the government and allows whistleblowers to file lawsuits against those companies on behalf of the federal government.
For two of the whistleblowers, this is actually the second time they have made a significant amount of money off of allegations against Boeing. In 2009, they split a $2.6 million award after filing a lawsuit against Boeing alleging that the company was improperly installing insulation blankets in its KC-10 refueling planes.
If you are aware of wrongdoing in your company, you are protected under the law should you choose to blow the whistle and could even stand to gain some significant financial rewards. For more information about your case and for guidance in the next steps that you should take, speak to the Dallas whistleblower attorneys from Whistleblower Law for Managers today.