On January 26, 2017, the District Court for the Eastern District of Washington entered an order finalizing a $5 million False Claims Act settlement and dismissing the lawsuits against fire safety contractor Monaco Enterprises, Inc.
The settlement resolves claims brought by two separate whistleblower lawsuits under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers who brought the suits were former employees of Monaco and alleged that for a number of years Monaco Enterprises engaged in various practices designed to defraud the federal government involving Monaco’s fire safety services at military bases throughout the country. In May 2015, as allowed under the False Claims Act, the United States intervened in the whistleblower’s cases and filed its own suit alleging that Monaco Enterprises billed the military for services it never actually provided and Monaco Enterprises concealed deceptive practices that overcharged the government for its travel costs.
The settlement agreement was originally filed on December 12, 2016 and requires Monaco to pay $5,000,000. The whistleblowers who originally filed the case will receive between 15-25 percent of the total $5,000,000 settlement.
Frohsin Barger & Walthall would like to thank and congratulate the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington and the relators and their counsel for exposing this fraud and returning millions of dollars to the United States taxpayers. Relator Maximillian Salazar, III was represented by William A Gilbert of the Gilbert Law Firm and relators Jason Voss, Drake Osborn, and Lisa Osborn were represented by Matthew Crotty of Crotty & Son Law Firm and Ryan Matthew Best of Best Law PLLC.