Government Contractor to Pay $69 Million
On November 5, 2010, an engineering contractor, Louis Berger Group, Inc. (“LBG”), agreed to pay over $69 million to settle claims of defrauding the U.S. Government related to reconstruction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. LBG is a New Jersey-based engineering consulting company which performed engineering contracts for the U.S. Department of Defense and United States Agency for International Development in Iraq and Afghanistan. The allegations, which resulted in civil and criminal charges, stemmed from an overbilling scheme uncovered by a whistleblower at the firm. An investigation began in 2006 when a senior LBG financial analyst and auditor, Harold Salomon, filed a whistleblower lawsuit under seal accusing LBG of illegally billing the U.S. Government for costs not directly attributable to its work in Iraq and Afghanistan. The overbilling included legal and accounting fees, rent, and other general company costs related to LBG’s offices in New Jersey and Washington D.C. LBG and government officials agreed upon a settlement whereby LBG would pay $18.7 million in criminal penalties and $50.6 million to resolve civil claims.
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