Allegations of Inflated Charges Cost SAIC $11.75 million in FCA Settlement

A settlement was announced late last week in the False Claims Act case against Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). According to the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales of the District of New Mexico, SAIC, one of the government’s largest contractors, paid $11.75 million regarding allegations that they inflated the cost of first responder training programs over a ten year period. SAIC had received subgrants in conjunction with grants awarded to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology for the Weapons of Mass Destruction First Responder Program. Under the subgrants, SAIC was tasked with providing “course management, development, and instruction” to support the first responder personnel in anti-terrorism training. The FCA complaint against SAIC alleged the company claimed to use more expensive employees than those that actually worked on the project, thus inflating the overall cost spent on the program. Richard Priem, SAIC’s project manager for this program, brought these allegations to the attention of the government, prior to the United States intervening. His share of the settlement had not been determined at the time of the settlement announcement. In response to the settlement, Peter Chatfield, an attorney for the relator, noted more money would still be available to prevent and respond to terrorism activity “if SAIC [had] been honest and charged the government based on its true costs.”

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