Articles Tagged with Government contract fraud

Southern District of New York

New York-area painting contractor AHERN PAINTING CONTRACTORS CO. (“AHERN”) will pay $3 million to settle allegations in a False Claims Act lawsuit that AHERN fraudulently obtained payments on two federally funded construction projects by misrepresenting compliance with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) rules, which require participation of businesses owned by women and minorities.  The Government asserted that  AHERN misrepresented that co-defendant TOWER MAINTENANCE CORP. (“TOWER”), a certified DBE, was solely performing millions of dollars of work on the two projects when in fact much of that work was performed by co-defendant SPECTRUM PAINTING CORP. (“SPECTRUM”), a non-DBE.  As part of the settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts, AHERN admits and accepts responsibility for conduct alleged in the Government’s complaint and agrees to pay $3 million to the United States.  The case against defendants TOWER and SPECTRUM is ongoing.

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.

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Triple Canopy was accused of billing the U.S. for security guards who could not pass required firearms proficiency tests, and hiding that basic qualification failure by creating false test score cards

 Triple Canopy, Inc. (Triple Canopy), located in Reston, has agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle civil False Claims Act allegations that the company submitted false claims for payment to the Department of Defense for unqualified security guards stationed in Iraq.

“Contractors must be held accountable for their actions, especially when the safety of government personnel is at stake” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This settlement should remind contractors of the high value we place on safeguarding our personnel abroad.”