Misleading federal contracting officers can lead to stiff costs. Take Hewlitt-Packard — the compay recently paid $55 million to settle such allegations. Tuesday, DoJ announced that Cisco Systems and Westcon Group North America agreed to pay almost as much to settle similar whistleblower claims. The two companies will pay $48,000,000 to resolve allegations that they “knowingly provided incomplete information to [General Service Administration] contracting officers during negotiations.” According to the allegations the misrepresentations “resulted in defective pricing of Cisco products and submission of false claims to the United States.” The recent eight-figure settlements by HP, Cisco, and Westcon and earlier settlements with EMC Corporation and others send a message that DoJ is keeping a close eye on GSA contacts and listening and responding to whistleblowers who report fraud. “Contractors that do business with the United States must deal fairly with federal agencies,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “When contractors provide incomplete and untruthful information to the government, we will take action to restore the integrity of the procurement process and protect taxpayer dollars.” The qui tam whistleblower award under the federal False Claims Act could be as much as 1.2 million.
To report false claims against the government, contact Frohsin & Barger.