Joseph Greenwald & Laake, P.A. Reaches $1.45 Million Settlement in Whistleblower Case Involving Supplies for Afghan Army

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Qui Tam lawsuit settles for $1.45 million.

Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A.

Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A.

PAE Government Services, Inc. and R.M. Asia Ltd. have settled a whistleblower lawsuit for $1.45 million, resolving allegations that company employees created fictitious entities and set up a bid-rigging scheme to falsely bill the United States for supplies intended for the Afghan National Army. According to court documents, Steven Walker, a former project manager for PAE in Afghanistan, brought forward the complaint after he discovered the scheme and reported it to government investigators.

The lawsuit, United States ex rel. Walker v. PAE, et al.,1:11CV382-LO/TCB (E.D. Va.) was filed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., by attorneys Jay P. Holland and Brian J. Markovitz, partners at the Greenbelt, Md.-based law firm Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A., and Scott Oswald and David Scher of The Employment Law Group in Washington, D.C.

According to court documents, the U.S. Army awarded a contract to PAE on Dec. 19, 2007. The contract required PAE to provide the Afghanistan National Army with vehicle-fleet maintenance and an apprenticeship/training program. The contract also required PAE to order vehicle parts and perform supply-chain management. PAE then awarded a subcontract to R.M. Asia to provide warehousing services for vehicle parts and to perform supply-chain management.

In his complaint, Walker alleged that PAE and R.M. Asia submitted false claims under the contract as a result of a bid-rigging scheme to steer subcontracts to companies owned by a PAE manager and his relatives, as well as an R.M. Asia manager and his relatives from May 2007 through June 2010. The complaint also alleged that defendants PAE and R.M. Asia either knew or should have known of the fraud and failed to take appropriate measures to stop it or report it.

The complaint alleged that the defendants formed a conspiracy which they called ‘The Network,’ where they set up the bid process to assure that one of their own companies would bid against an unqualified company, and therefore made sure the bids were awarded to themselves.

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