September 25, 2021

Volume XI, Number 268

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Whistleblower Reports Telecommunications Government Contracts Fraud, Receives Between $1-3 Million Reward

June 28, 2021 – The Government settled a case against a telecommunications and Internet service provider for $12.7 million, thanks to a whistleblower inside the company.

Under the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Act, and the Procurement Integrity Act, a former employee of the provider company brought claims on behalf of the government against the telecommunications company, with allegations including: kickbacks for better deals with specific subcontractors, improper insider bid information, and misrepresenting a contractor as a women-owned small business.

Kickback Allegations:

As part of a GSA contract, the telecommunications and internet service provider called Level 3 Communications, LLC subcontracted work to other companies.  The owner of these two subcontractors allegedly paid kickbacks to the contractor’s managers, in exchange for favorable treatment and subcontracts.

Protected Bid Information Allegations:

One of the owners allegedly obtained and used protected bid contract information “to gain an advantage in bidding on task orders in the contract.”

Women-Owned Small Business Allegations:

In a U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract, the telecommunications and internet service provider knowingly misrepresented the women-owned small business to meet contractual obligations regarding subcontractor diversity.

The whistleblower, an employee of the contractor, reported this conduct to the federal government.  One government official said, “Kickbacks paid in connection with government contracts defraud the American taxpayer and undermine the federal procurement process.”

The whistleblower is entitled to a share of the settlement ranging between 15-25% as a reward for reporting wrongdoing.

© 2021 by Tycko & Zavareei LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 180
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About this Author

Jonathan K. Tycko leads the Whistleblower Practice Group of Tycko & Zavareei LLP

In recent years, the laws of the United States have undergone a whistleblower revolution. Federal and state governments now offer substantial monetary awards to individuals who come forward with information about fraud on government programs, tax fraud, securities fraud, and fraud involving the banking industry. Whistleblowers also now have important legal protections, designed to prevent retaliation and blacklisting.

The law firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP works on the cutting edge of this whistleblower revolution, taking on even the most complex and confidential whistleblower...

202-973-0900
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