A roofer from Madison, Maine was awarded more than $400,000 for being the key whistleblower in a recently settled lawsuit over allegations a company regularly cut corners when working on federal building projects in the state.
The whistleblower helped expose allegations of fraud after being hired as a subcontractor by Belcon Enterprises, which was previously known as Roof Systems of Maine. He worked on a variety of projects for the company from 2010 to 2014. The 52-year-old man also owns his own company, Maine Roof Solutions, and said he decided to file a lawsuit under the False Claims Act after he raised concerns about alarming problems with these projects — and that he had those concerns both ignored and dismissed by government officials and the main contractor.
Fraud commonly exposed by whistleblowers
The False Claims Act is in place primarily to prevent fraud by businesses doing work for the federal government. It is whistleblowers who most commonly expose these instances of fraud.
Under the settlement, Roof Systems agreed to pay a $439,500 penalty to resolve the allegations that it committed FCA violations. According to the lawsuit, the company regularly worked as cheaply as possible to improve margins and line its own pockets at the expense of taxpayers across the nation. The company started using weaker and cheaper steel screws instead of strong brass bolts, which resulted in weaker steel beams that were more prone to corrosion at high levels. The whistleblower’s assistance in this case was essential to reaching this settlement.
It’s important for businesses and organizations to have sound processes in place for investigating the claims of whistleblowers. To learn more, consult an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers right away.