April 1, 2015 – San Francisco, CA / Submit Press Release 123 /
In a new Google Hangout, Government Procurement Fraud whistleblower lawyer Kate Scanlan explains how insiders can help recover government funds lost to fraud—and be rewarded for helping
Government Procurement Fraud lawyer Kate Scanlan says, It may not be a law of physics, but time after time the words ring true: Where there is funding, there is likely to be fraud. Case in point: government procurement programs. The United States is the largest purchaser in the world, buying everything from pencils to aircraft carriers. Most contracts it enters into are carried out with diligence and honesty, but with so many billions of dollars involved every year, there are bound to be unscrupulous contractors who defraud the government — and taxpayers. The good news is that there is a remarkably effective weapon that helps identify and beat back procurement fraud: whistleblowers.
In a new Google Hangout from the law firm Keller Grover, Government Procurement Fraud attorney Kate Scanlan explains the various ways procurement fraud is carried out, and how the law empowers — and rewards — those who help stamp out these improper practices.
Now available for viewing on YouTube https://youtu.be/siFsW_0PkMM the video discusses the myriad ways contractors don’t keep their end of the deal with the government. For example, a procurement contract may be corrupted by bribes or kickbacks. Or there may be bid rigging — where competitors collude to split government business among themselves at prices they agree to. Or businesses may claim to be minority or veteran-owned in order to qualify for procurement programs intended to promote certain types of businesses.
“There are a lot of ways procurement fraud takes place, but they all share one thing in common,” says Scanlan. “They are based in deceit. Government contractors may not be who they say they are. They may not deliver what they promised. They may not deliver it at a fair price. Bid rigging, for example, deprives the government of fair competition, so it will end up paying more than it should. These are actions that hurt every taxpayer.”
Other forms of procurement fraud, says Scanlan, include a failure to follow specifications, the delivery of substandard products or services, and overcharging for material or labor costs.
In the Google Hangout, Scanlan discusses the crucial role whistleblowers play in beating back these frauds. Whistleblowers are individuals — often employees of the contractor — who know of, or suspect, improper behavior, and can shed light on the details. “Whistleblowers are our eyes and ears on fraud, alerting us to wrongdoing and helping to stamp it out,” says Scanlan. “Not surprisingly, the law has made important provisions to encourage and support them.”
As Scanlan notes in the video, the gold standard of whistleblower laws, the federal False Claims Act, provides a mechanism through which whistleblowers can file lawsuits claiming fraudulent activity against the government — and receive a share of any recovery the government ultimately obtains. That share, Scanlan notes, can be up to 30 percent. The False Claims Act also prohibits retaliatory action against whistleblowers, such as termination and demotion for speaking out about known or suspected fraud.
“With its incentives and protections, the False Claims Act has been extraordinarily effective in spurring whistleblowers to sound the alarm on fraud,” says Scanlan, whose firm has offices in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. “The procedures can be complicated for the layman, but with knowledgeable legal counsel, whistleblowers can navigate the judicial waters with confidence — and with results. They can help bring down these frauds and steer government funds back to the purposes and programs for which they were intended.”
About Kate Scanlan Government Procurement Fraud lawyer
based in California whose firm has offices in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Kate is a seasoned litigator with more than a dozen years’ experience in complex litigation in both California state courts and federal courts around the country. To learn more
Federal Whistleblower Attorney Kate Scanlan