URS E&C to Pay $9 Million to Settle False Claims Act and Foreign Assistance Act Allegations
The United States has secured a $9 million settlement from URS E&C Holdings, Inc., a successor in interest to Washington Group International, Inc., to resolve False Claims Act allegations. According to the settlement, Washington Group International, Inc., a global design and construction company, was awarded contracts in the 1990s by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the construction of water and wastewater infrastructure projects in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The contracts were awarded to a joint venture partnership between Washington Group, Contrak Internation Inc., and Misr Sons Development S.A., an Egyptian company. However, the United States alleges that USAID did not know the identity of Washington Group International’s joint venture partners at the time of the contract award. As a result, USAID was not able to evaluate the partners’ eligibility and qualifications, a precondition to the contract award. The United States filed suit in the Northern District of Idaho in 2004 under the False Claims Act and the Foreign Assistance Act. Contrak previously settled allegations arising from the suit for $3.5 million in 2013 and the United States continues to pursue allegations against Misr Sons. The settlement is based on allegations and does not determine liability.