Defense contractors have become a constant presence in the United States military. Everything from arms production, to supplying troops with meals, to erecting structures on military bases flows through defense contractors.
Since these contractors are dealing with the federal government, they are subject to federal laws. Specifically, laws prohibit the commission of fraud when demanding payment from the government.
If you have witnessed examples of defense contractor fraud, you have the option to come forward as a whistleblower. A Charleston defense contractor fraud lawyer could help you to understand what this involved and prepare your case to submit to the government.
Every entity that deals with the federal government on any level has an obligation to do so with good faith under the law. This includes defense contractors who submit claims to the government for payment. Not only is committing fraud a civil offense that could see the government attempt to recoup funds, but it is also a criminal violation. Specifically, the False Claims Act under 31 United States Code § 3729 says that it is against the law for any party doing business with the government to knowingly submit a false claim for payment or benefits.
As a result, any defense contractor who submits a false claim for payment or demands payment when there is no justification faces severe consequences. Examples can include falsifying employee timecards, submitting artificially low bids, or failing to provide goods of sufficient quality. A Charleston defense contractor fraud attorney could provide more information about the False Claims Act and what activities constitute a violation of federal law.
The federal government lacks the resources to identify and prosecute every example of defense contractor fraud that occurs. As a result, it incentivizes ordinary citizens to come forward and report information that they believe constitutes fraud.
For some people, this action may even result in a reward. Specifically, 31 United States Code § 3730(c)(5) says that certain whistleblowers may qualify to receive a reward of between 15 and 25 percent of the amount of money that the government recovers in the case.
However, this is only possible under limited circumstances. A whistleblower must indicate that they are seeking a reward when they initially provide information. This is called a writ of Qui Tam. In addition, this information must be new to the government and lead to a conviction. Finally, members of law enforcement or other people who have a duty to report illegal activity are ineligible under this law. A Charleston defense contractor fraud lawyer could help individuals to demand rewards for serving as whistleblowers.
Fraud is a common problem in the government defense contractor world. These companies may illegally request payment for everything from hours not worked by employees, to goods not actually sent, to payment for unfulfilled contracts. In many situations, this is an illegal activity that violates the False Claims Act.
If you believe that you have witnessed a fraudulent act by a defense contractor, a Charleston defense contractor fraud lawyer may be able to help. An attorney could investigate the claim, submit detailed reports to the government, and demand a reward on your behalf. At the same time, an attorney could protect you against any possible retaliation. Reach out to a Charleston defense contractor fraud attorney today to get started.