It has been awhile since I last blogged about fraud involving the Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program. Trust me, the problem has not gone away. If anything, prosecutions and civil claims filed under the False Claims Act alleging DBE fraud have become so frequent, I could not write a blog post about each one. The biggest winners in 2016 may have been the whistleblowers that brought the DBE fraud to the attention of the Department of Justice, who were awarded millions of dollars for doing their part to ferret out fraud. Recent whistleblower settlements include:
- June 2016 – $1,485,000 awarded government contractor;
- May 2016 – $500,000 awarded to a former employee of Mountain States Construction;
- June 2015 – $1.8 million awarded to two former employees of a commercial facilities contractor; and
- May 2014 – $12 million awarded to former project manager on airport project.
Because whistleblowers are typically represented by attorneys on a contingent fee basis, they do not incur attorneys fees in filing such a claim.