Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited and several of its subsidiaries recently agreed to pay $20 million to settle False Claims Act violation allegations. The company and its subsidiaries were accused of purposefully overbilling the U.S. Navy in contracts for ship husbanding services.
Three former employees of Inchcape brought the suit under the False Claims Act’s whistleblower provisions. Private citizens are allowed to bring suits on behalf of the federal government for false claims, and then have the opportunity to share in any money recovered. In this case, the whistleblowers will share in a $4.4 million award, which accounts for 22 percent of the total settlement.
Inchcape is a major provider of marine support services. The UK-based company provided goods and services to U.S. Navy ships at ports in regions around the world. But the whistleblowers provided evidence that between 2005 and 2014, Inchcape knowingly overbilled the Navy for its services by submitting invoices that overstated the number of goods and services provided, and also billed at rates that were larger than the rates that should have applied under the contract. Inchcape also routinely double billed for some goods and services.
The three whistleblowers resigned from the company after discovering the scheme and bringing it to the attention of the company’s CEO and other senior executives, who pushed back against their efforts to prevent further illegal actions.
Filing a False Claims Act lawsuit
If you discover your company routinely overbills for its services or submits false claims, you can file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act that the federal government can choose to join. If the government does join the case, you will be eligible to receive a cut of the money resulting from the enforcement action.
To learn more about how to file a False Claims Act case, contact a trusted Dallas attorney at Kardell Law Group today.