Texas Whistleblower Attorneys at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., Comment on False Claims Act Lawsuit against Defense Contractors

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Houston whistleblower attorney J. Mark Brewer applauds the efforts of a former Derco Aerospace employee and the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent government fraud.

Government fraud is a serious crime that costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

Commenting on a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about a lawsuit filed against Sikorsky Support aircraft Corp. and two of its subsidiaries over alleged overbilling for aircraft parts, whistleblower attorney J. Mark Brewer of Brewer & Pritchard, P.C., today stressed the pivotal role whistleblowers play in holding companies accountable for illegal activity.

Brewer, a whistleblower attorney in Texas with 33 ½ years of experience, based his comments on an October 16 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Complaint against Sikorsky Aircraft, Derco Aerospace alleges overbilling.” The article contends that Derco and its subsidiaries, Sikorsky Support Services Inc. and Derco Aerospace Inc., used specialized software to overbill the government roughly $50 million dollars for aircraft parts.

The claims made in the lawsuit* are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.

“Government fraud is a serious crime that costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year,” Brewer said. “At Brewer & Pritchard, we understand how difficult it can be to report instances of fraud against a large corporation. We commend the actions of the U.S. Department of Justice and the former Derco employee who decided to take legal action against Derco Aerospace and its parent company. ”

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the whistleblower lawsuit contends that Derco Aerospace, Inc. and its parent and sister companies, Sikorsky Aircraft and Sikorsky Support Services, Inc. used specialized software to overbill the U.S. Department of Defense nearly $50 million for aircraft parts, dating back to 2006.

The complaint alleges that the three companies submitted false bills to the Department of Defense with an “impermissible” 20 percent markup on parts the companies purchased from other vendor, according to the article. Furthermore, the companies allegedly developed special software to hide the markup and make the price increase difficult to detect.

The whistleblower case was brought forth by Mary J. Patzer, a former employee employed between 2002 and 2010, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The article indicates that the employee was fired after exposing the billing issues to a Sikorsky manager in 2010. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint in intervention in the former employee’s whistleblower lawsuit.

“A private citizen, known in legal terms as a ‘relator,’ may file a complaint on behalf of the United States against a corporation under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act,” Brewer said. “The citizen may share in any recovery. The relator may be entitled to between 15 and 25 percent of any money recovered.

“But whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act are much more than about money,” Brewer added. “They’re about justice. They’re about sending a message to large corporations that their illegal activity will not be tolerated. At Brewer & Pritchard, we urge those who suspect fraud to contact us for a free consultation. We’re ready to protect your rights.”

  • The lawsuit cited is United States ex rel. Patzer v. United Technologies Corporation, et al., No. 11-C-560 (E.D. Wis.).

About Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.

Serving clients throughout Texas and across the country, the attorneys at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. have a well-earned reputation for being knowledgeable, experienced lawyers focused on results. The Houston law firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Medicaid fraud, whistleblower claims, business law, corporate law, mergers, acquisitions and other legal issues. Our law firm discretely investigates every case and respect’s our clients’ privacy. Not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

For more information about what to do if you suspect fraud activity at your company and the legal options available to whistleblowers, call 800-445-8710 or complete the online contact form.

Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.
3 Riverway #1800
Houston, TX 77056

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