A Maryland-based infrastructure contractor has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $450,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it failed to pay its workers according to the prevailing wage required by federal labor standards when performing work for the government.
Midasco LLC of Elkridge, Maryland, worked as a subcontractor on a Virginia highway project that created about 29 miles of reversible high-occupancy toll lanes along the I-95/I-495 corridor. Midasco’s contract included installation of highway signage, lighting, toll gantries, ITS infrastructure, and electrical communication components.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, federal officials investigated allegations brought by a whistleblower in a False Claims Act complaint and found that Midasco had failed to comply with the Davis-Bacon Act when it failed to pay workers performing electrical work on the highway project in accordance with the law and the terms of the contract.
“Midasco improperly classified workers as supervisors and paid them a salary in order to avoid paying the higher wages they were entitled to as electricians. The alleged conduct occurred between July 2012 and May 2015,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The False Claims Act authorizes private parties to sue on behalf of the United States in cases of suspected fraud targeting taxpayer-funded government agencies and programs. Whistleblowers whose False Claims Act complaints lead to a recovery are entitled to 15-25 percent of the total recovery as a whistleblower award, or up to 30 percent in cases that federal prosecutors decline to litigate.