As a nation, we depend on the security and strength of our military system. Sadly, while thousands risk their lives in our armed forces, fraudsters make profits from unsavory and illegal military contract schemes. Defense contractors may partake in lowly fraud schemes on government spending programs to steal billions of dollars from the government. With help from brave citizens, the government can put an end to contract fraud and take back the billions it has lost. If you have information on military contract fraud that could be of use to the government, Butler Wooten & Peak LLP can help you take the right steps toward blowing the whistle.
“Blowing the whistle,” or exposing information about an alleged fraud scheme, can significantly aid the U.S. government in its fight against fraudulent contractors and elaborate scams. The government cannot detect and stop these practices on its own. It relies on courageous whistleblowers to come forward and speak out against criminal military contractors. To encourage whistleblowing, the government offers awards to those who give information that leads to recovered money. You could receive 25-30% of any award, settlement, or penalty payment the government receives based on your tip or complaint.
The government knows that an award isn’t enough for all whistleblowers to speak out against fraudulent contractors – many also need federal protection from retaliation. If an employee, for example, learns of its employer breaking the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) with the government by not offering the best price, the employee might be afraid to say anything for fear of losing his/her job. Employer retaliation can ruin an employee’s life and make it impossible for him or her to find another job in the industry. To protect claimants from retaliation, the government issued the False Claims Act (FCA).
The FCA allows individuals to file qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the government in total confidentiality. The government will seal these cases while they investigate to prevent the alleged offender learning of the whistleblower’s actions and seeking revenge. The FCA entitles all parties to the “relief necessary” to make the person whole if an entity retaliates with job termination, demotion, suspension, threats, harassment, punishment, or discrimination. Relief might involve job reinstatement, twice the amount of back pay plus interest, and compensation for any special damages suffered as a result of retaliation.
Military contract fraud can take many forms, from rigging contract bidding to overcharging the government for services. Defense contractors might falsify invoices, shift costs away from fixed-price contracts, or even use inferior materials to manufacture equipment. This last practice is unlawful and could threaten the lives of American soldiers. Using defective, low-quality, or unsafe products to furnish our military with weapons, equipment, food, and shelter is in violation of defense contract requirements and could endanger military lives.
If you know about any of these egregious actions within your workplace or elsewhere, don’t hesitate to come forward. You may have the power to prevent billions of lost dollars and potential injury to American soldiers in your hands. It is up to you to speak out about any type of military contract fraud you learn of or suspect. A lawyer can help you protect yourself and assure complete confidentiality throughout the whistleblowing process.
The team at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP can help you maximize recovery for a whistleblower claim. We have years of experience and successful case results backing us up, in Georgia and around the country. Let our firm make the claims process simpler and more rewarding when it comes to exposing military contract fraud. Meet with us during a free, completely confidential consultation. Call (800) 242-2962 or contact us online to get started.