The False Claims Act (FCA) and New York Construction Contracts

By David DeToffol | December 22, 2023

The False Claims Act (FCA) was created to stop fraud against the government by holding people and organizations accountable for submitting false or fraudulent claims for payment. When it comes to government construction contracts with private construction companies, the FCA is important because it helps make sure that taxpayer money is spent right and that contractors are honest and transparent.

NY Construction Workers and Whistleblower Protection

In the context of government construction contracts, the FCA helps to make sure that private construction companies follow the rules and don’t commit fraud. Some examples of FCA violations in this context include billing for work that wasn’t done, inflating costs or submitting duplicate invoices, saying that materials, services or workmanship are of a certain quality when they’re not, not following safety or environmental regulations, and submitting false certifications of compliance with legal or contractual requirements. These fraudulent practices can lead to poor quality construction projects, taxpayer money being wasted, and even put the public at risk.

Whistleblowers, also known as “relators,” play a big part in enforcing the FCA. If someone knows about fraudulent activity, they can file a lawsuit under the qui tam provisions of the FCA on behalf of the government. If the lawsuit is successful, the whistleblower can receive a portion of the recovered funds, usually between 15 and 30 percent of the total amount.

An Example of The False Claims Act at the Construction Site

Max was working on a government-funded school project and discovered that the insulation materials being used were inferior and not fire-resistant, contrary to the government contract’s specifications. Upon further investigation, Max found that XYZ Construction knowingly purchased the substandard materials to cut costs while billing the government for the higher-priced, fire-resistant insulation. When Max reported his concerns to a supervisor, they were dismissed.

Determined to take action, Max gathered evidence, including photos of the inadequate insulation and internal documents showing the discrepancy between purchased materials and contract specifications. Max contacted a lawyer specializing in False Claims Act cases and filed a qui tam lawsuit against XYZ Construction Company on behalf of the government.

If you were fired for blowing the whistle, you should consult a lawyer who specializes in whistleblower protection.

 

It’s time to take action. Don’t struggle in silence – contact the expert New York Whistleblower Lawyers at DeToffol & Gittleman at (212) 962-2220 or fill out our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation today. Together, we can navigate the complexities of your situation, understand your rights, and work diligently to secure the fair and just treatment you are entitled to under the law. Don’t wait! Your rights and your job are too important. Contact us today, and let’s start the journey towards resolution and fairness.

The content presented in this blog aims to provide general information regarding the False Claims Act and its implications. It is essential to understand that the False Claims Act involves many intricate steps and procedures to preserve a claim. This blog post should not be taken as legal advice or seen as a comprehensive guide for those wishing to bring a case pro se. If you’re considering taking action under the False Claims Act or have concerns about potential fraud, it is crucial to consult a legal professional with expertise in this area.