According to the DoJ press release, the whistleblower alleged that a construction company established two smaller companies to fraudulently obtain federal set-aside contracts reserved for disadvantaged small businesses. These set-aside contracts are reserved for businesses that meet certain size and ownership criteria. The Defendant construction company allegedly formed the two smaller companies to fraudulently induce the government to award set-aside contracts, while the defendant construction company maintained operational control over the work.
This lawsuit was initiated by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA allows individuals who uncover fraud against the government to bring a civil action on behalf of the government. These whistleblowers—known as relators—are afforded significant protections from retaliation and are eligible to receive a share of any monetary recovery.
In this case, the whistleblower will receive approximately $540,000.00 of the $2.8 million settlement.
The settlement discussed above is based on allegations only. No determination of guilt has been made.