Navistar Defense LLC, a company based in Illinois that manufactures military vehicles, recently agreed to pay $50 million to settle a False Claims Act case alleging it inflated prices in an agreement with the U.S. Marine Corps for suspension systems for armored vehicles.
The inflated prices came in the midst of a contract modification. During the process of negotiating that modification, Navistar allegedly developed fraudulent commercial sales invoices and sent them to the government as a way to purposefully provide false information and justify the inflated prices quoted in the contract modifications.
The false information provided to the government resulted in the federal government being defrauded of a significant amount of money.
The case was initiated by a whistleblower, who brought a civil action under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. These provisions allow a private citizen or entity to file an action on behalf of the United States, and then join in benefitting from the recovery should the federal government agree to take up the case and succeed in enforcement.
The whistleblower in this case was Duquoin Burgess, a former Government Contracts Manager for the company, who will receive $11,060,000 from the settlement money for the role he played in bringing the fraud to the attention of the federal government.
The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act exist to encourage and incentivize citizens with knowledge of fraudulent activity to come forward and report what they know. In many cases, such fraudulent schemes would go undetected if not for the service and courage of the whistleblowers who make their reports.
If you have any information about wrongdoing within your workplace, it is important to come forward with the information as soon as possible and to follow all of the proper legal protocols to ensure you can share in recovery. For more information about how to proceed, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.