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Department of Justice Files Lawsuit against Virginia-Based Contractor for Submitting False Claims for Iraqi Security Guards Who Did Not Meet Contract Requirements

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that the United States has filed a False Claims Act lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Triple Canopy Inc., a Reston, Virginia-based government contractor. The case was initially filed in 2011 by a former employee of Triple Canopy under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act. After being filed, the case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia; the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division; and the Army Criminal Investigative Command (CID) and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) of the Department of Defense.

The lawsuit alleges that Triple Canopy submitted false claims to the United States as part of a $10 million contract awarded to them in 2009 in order to provide a variety of security services at the Al Asad Airbase in Iraq. According to the DOJ, Triple Canopy fraudulently billed for hundreds of foreign nationals who were hired as security guards but failed to meet Army firearms proficiency tests. Under the contract awarded to Triple Canopy, all security guards hired to protect U.S. and allied personnel were required to pass the proficiency test in order to establish they were capable of safely and accurately firing AK-47 assault rifles and other weapons. To cover up its hiring of the hundreds of unqualified guards, Triple Canopy managers in Iraq falsified test scores so they could bill the U.S. for these unqualified guards. Even after high-level officials alerted the company’s headquarters in Reston of this fraudulent activity, the misconduct continued. The lawsuit also claims that Triple Canopy used these false qualification records in order to persuade the U.S to extend their security work at the Al Asad Airbase for a second year.

Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, stated:

“For a government contractor to knowingly provide deficient security services, as is alleged in this case, is unthinkable, especially in war time… The department will do everything it can to ensure that contractors comply with critical contract requirements and that contractors who don’t comply aren’t permitted to profit at the expense of our men and women in uniform and the taxpayers at home who support them.”

The Employment Law Group® law firm’s whistleblower attorneys have helped many clients file suit against employers that fraudulently bill the U.S. government, and have established favorable precedents under the retaliation provision of the False Claims Act.

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