As alleged in the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court on March 2, 2019, AHERN was a contractor on two federally funded steel painting projects to renovate the Brooklyn Bridge and Queens Plaza. Contracts for both projects required AHERN to hire DBEs to do a percentage of the work involved and adhere to the DBE regulations. Instead of hiring qualified DBEs to perform the allotted DBE work, AHERN allowed SPECTRUM and TOWER to use TOWER’s status as a DBE to take credit for millions of dollars of work performed, managed, and supervised by non-DBE SPECTRUM. To conceal this scheme, SPECTRUM employees repeatedly identified themselves as TOWER employees in documents that AHERN passed along to supervisors on the project. AHERN and TOWER repeatedly submitted false statements and records to NYC-DOT and MTA misrepresenting that TOWER alone did all of the work allocated to DBEs and that TOWER did not hire a subcontractor to perform any of that work.
International SOS, is a provider of overseas healthcare services for the government and it had negotiated discounts from third-party air ambulance providers, which it was required to pass along to TRICARE. Instead, International SOS did not disclose the actual cost of the aeromedical evacuation services during the quoting process; billed TRICARE at the higher non-discounted amount; and received payment from TRICARE for the inflated costs, which International SOS contends it retained as a fee.
This settlement resolves allegations in a lawsuit by a former International SOS Regional Flight Desk Manager, under the qui tam (or whistleblower) provisions of the False Claims Act. The qui tam provisions permit private parties to sue for false claims on behalf of the government and to receive a share of any recovery. The relator here will receive $165,000 as his share of the recovery in the case. The relator was represented by Franklin J. Rooks, Jr., Esq. of Morgan Rooks, P.C., and Jared A. Jacobson, Esq. of Jared Jacobson Law, LLC.