AUGUST 1, 2016 — A whistleblower who is an officer of a U.S.-flag shipping company is to receive $215,000 in a case in which Jacintoport International LLC and Seaboard Marine Ltd. will
false claims act
. Inchcape is a marine services contractor headquartered in the United Kingdom. As a ship husbanding services provider, Inchcape arranged for the provision of goods and services to Navy ships at ports in several regions throughout the world, including southwest Asia, Africa, Panama, North America, South America and Mexico. Inchcape’s services typically included the provision of food and other subsistence items, arrangement of local transportation, waste removal, telephone services, ship-to-shore transportation and force protection services.
The lawsuit, which was unsealed today, alleges that Inchcape knowingly overbilled the Navy by submitting invoices that overstated the quantity of goods and services provided, billed at rates in excess of applicable contract rates and double-billed for certain goods and services.
The lawsuit was brought under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act by three former employees of Inchcape, Noah Rudolph, Andrea Ford and Lawrence Cosgriff, who are represented by Washington, DC, law firm Vogel, Slade & Goldstein, LLP.
Under the act, a private citizen may bring suit on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery.
The government may intervene in the case, as it has done here. The False Claims Act allows the government to recover treble damages and penalties from those who violate it.
“Those who contract with the federal government and accept taxpayer dollars must follow the rules,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate contractors who submit false claims to defraud the armed forces or any other agency of the United States.”
“Ensuring that federal contractors deliver the goods and services at the agreed upon prices in return for receiving the taxpayers’ money is a priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia. “This lawsuit reflects our commitment to combat fraud against federal government agencies.”
“The Department of the Navy continues to hold contractors accountable for the agreements they have made to supply our fleet,” said Captain Amy Derrick, a senior spokeswoman for the Department of the Navy. “We also continue to expect strict adherence to higher standards within the Department and expect the same from industry.”
The case is being handled jointly by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia, with assistance from the Department of the Navy and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
The case is captioned United States ex rel. Rudolph v. Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited, et al., No. 1:10-cv-01109 (D.D.C).
You can access the complaint HERE
Scottsdale, AZ, based APL is a wholly-owned American subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Limited.
The Department of Defense contract required APL to affix a satellite tracking device to each shipping container transported from Karachi, Pakistan to U.S. military bases in Afghanistan when the Department of Defense (DOD) requested the tracking services.
The United States alleges that APL billed the DOD for tracking services despite knowing that the tracking devices completely or partially failed to transmit data, or were not affixed to shipping containers. The government also claims that APL attached a single satellite tracking device to two shipping containers despite being required to affix one device to every container.
“Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to ensure that contractors doing business with the military perform their contracts honestly,” said Principal Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will continue to ensure that there are appropriate consequences for those who knowingly fail to live up to their bargain and misuse taxpayer funds.”
“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of many U.S. law enforcement professionals, APL is today being held accountable for their actions,” said Director Frank Robey of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.
“I applaud all those responsible for their continued pursuit of those who attempt to take advantage of the U.S. military through false claims for services that were not provided.
The settlement with APL was the result of a coordinated effort among the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch; the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California, Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit; DOD’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command and DOD’s Defense Contract Audit Agency.
The Justice Department notes that the claims resolved by the civil settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.
DECEMBER 29, 2014 — In a ruling filed December 23, the U.S, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the United States alleged sufficient facts in its complaint against Bollinger
OCTOBER 29, 2014—The U.S. Department of Justice says that North Florida Shipyards, Jacksonville, FL, and its president, Matt Self, will pay $1 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims