Florida Equipment Fraud Lawyer
The U.S. government is one of the largest purchasers of equipment in the world. Our federal government spends more than four trillion dollars a year on contracts with private entities to purchase equipment. Every agency has its own Inspector General and watchdogs to keep a lid on waste, fraud and abuse, but with programs this massive, 100% effective government oversight is impossible.
The people who work for government contractors in areas such as procurement, shipping, packaging, billing and accounting are in a much better position to know of any fraud that is occurring at their company. The government can’t inspect every company it works with or audit every contract it makes. The government relies on private citizens to blow the whistle on fraud when they see it.
To encourage whistleblowing, Congress passed the False Claims Act, providing a mechanism for private individuals to bring fraud out into the open and help the government recover misused funds. As a reward for their efforts, whistleblowers receive a portion of the money the government recovers. Guttman, Freidin & Celler is a powerhouse Florida whistleblower law firm that focuses exclusively on representing whistleblowers. From recovering a contractor’s ill-gotten gains on behalf of the federal government to protecting you from retaliation at work for blowing the whistle, our team provides highly effective and successful representation. If you are aware of equipment fraud or government contract fraud at your place of employment, contact the Florida equipment fraud lawyers at Guttman, Freidin & Celler for immediate assistance.
Government Contracts Are Massive, and so Is Equipment Fraud
In addition to the Postal Service’s fleet of a quarter-million vehicles, nearly every civilian and military government agency owns some number of cars, trucks and vans, bringing the nation’s total vehicle fleet over 600,000. Hardly any of these vehicles are electric, yet President Biden has announced a bold push to convert the entire U.S. fleet to American-made electric vehicles. The rush to electrify the nation’s vehicle fleet quickly could conceivably create a hotbed of fraud as contractors seek to do anything they can to gain government contracts for battery and electric vehicle manufacturing or to take advantage of the chaotic situation for profit without intending to deliver goods.
Vehicle electrification is only one aspect of the federal government’s bold new infrastructure plan which will pour more than a trillion dollars into the economy to build and repair roads, bridges and highways, drinking water and sewer systems, and countless other areas. As companies scramble to receive competitive bids, the situation is ripe for government contract fraud.
Equipment fraud and government contract fraud are also rife during times of natural disasters, such as after a hurricane as cities rush to rebuild. In these chaotic situations where the government is facing massive emergency needs, unscrupulous vendors can more easily get away with fraudulent conduct.
Government contract fraud and equipment fraud can take many forms, including:
- Falsifying documents to be eligible to bid for a contract, or to gain an advantage in competitive bidding
- Failing to deliver goods or services as promised
- Delivering a different product than was contracted for
- Delivering a defective product
- Delivering counterfeit goods
- Price gouging
False Claims Act Relators Are Rewarded for Blowing the Whistle on Equipment Fraud/Government Contract Fraud
The person who reports fraud to the government under the False Claims Act (FCA) is known as the “relator.” In some cases, after the relator provides the agency with the information, the government takes over and files a lawsuit to recover any monies that were fraudulently obtained. In other cases, the government declines to pursue the matter, but the relator can move forward on his or her own and sue to recover funds on behalf of the government. In either case, the relator is rewarded for blowing the whistle:
- If the government pursues the case, the relator receives 15% to 25% of the money recovered
- If the relator pursues the case personally, the relator receives up to 30% of the money recovered
The percentage the relator receives depends in part on the source of the information and the role the relator played in uncovering the fraud. FCA lawsuits typically can’t be based on information that is already in the public domain, unless the relator is the source of that information. Also, if the relator initiated or participated in the fraud, they would only receive a reduced share of the recovery, depending on the extent they advanced the case. Relators cannot receive any portion of the recovery only if they were convicted of criminal misconduct in connection with the fraud.
Stop Equipment Fraud/Government Contract Fraud in Florida and Claim Your Reward by Calling Guttman, Freidin & Celler
The attorneys at Guttman, Freidin & Celler have recovered over a billion dollars in funds that the government was defrauded out of in countless cases. We’ll help you blow the whistle, ensure you are protected from retaliation, and represent you as a relator in FCA litigation to obtain the maximum compensation in terms of funds recovery and your personal share. Call our office at 800-654-8281 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our government program fraud whistleblower lawyers.