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Defense Department 7 articles

Whistleblower sues Milwaukee aircraft manufacturer, others for deliberately overcharging government

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee of a Milwaukee-based aircraft manufacturer alleges the company used special software to hide illegal markups on bills it submitted to the U.S. Defense Department for reimbursement on aircraft parts. Plaintiff Mary Patzer, a former financial analyst and assistant controller at Derco Aerospace Inc., filed the lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of the federal government under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act. The case was unsealed this week by federal judge Rudolph Randa. Ms. Patzer alleges that Derco, its parent company Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. of ... Read More

Whistleblower complaints on the rise in Defense Department after passage of new law

The passage of a law last July enhancing whistleblower rights and protections for U.S. Defense Department employees and contractors may have encouraged more Defense workers to come forward with allegations of fraud and other wrongdoing, according to figures reported by the Department of Defense inspector general’s office. Since August 2013, a month after the new law went into effect, the rate of complaints from Defense Department whistleblowers increased from four per month to six per month. The Defense Department has received more than 200 whistleblower complaints as of Jan. 1. The complaints involve allegations of fraud, waste and abuse, public ... Read More

Whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit recovers $6.5 million for U.S. Navy

A whistleblower will receive $1.28 million for helping the U.S. Department of Defense recover millions of dollars in funds fraudulently taken from the U.S. Navy by a defense contractor, the U.S. Justice Department announced. Vector Planning and Services Inc. (VPS) agreed to pay the U.S. government $6.5 million to resolve the whistleblower’s allegations in a lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act, which allows private individuals with evidence of fraud and other wrongdoing sue on behalf of the federal government. The Act’s whistleblower provisions (often referred to as “qui tam” provisions) have become one of the federal government’s most powerful tools ... Read More

Whistleblower complaint prompts U.S. to sue Army contractor, subcontractors for fraud

A whistleblower complaint has prompted the U.S. government to sue a Houston, Texas-based Army contractor and two Kuwaiti companies for submitting false claims in connection with the logistical support they were contracted to provide for U.S. Army operations in Iraq. The case names Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc. (KBR), an engineering and construction firm, and two Kuwait-based companies, La Nouvelle General Trading & Contracting Co. (La Nouvelle) and First Kuwaiti Trading Company (First Kuwaiti), which KBR subcontracted to provide transportation, maintenance and other services for its work in Iraq. The U.S. alleges that KBR knowingly made false claims to the ... Read More

New bill would strengthen whistleblower protections for military members

A bill designed to toughen protections for military whistleblowers has been introduced by four U.S. Senators who say that improving the provisions would encourage more military members to blow the whistle on sexual assault, fraud, waste, and abuse. The bill, dubbed the Warner-Collins-Kaine-Grassley Amendment for the senators who designed it, appears to enjoy strong bipartisan support. The measure is also backed by some 50 whistleblowers and organizations, including the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a group that has emerged in recent years to advocate for whistleblowers in all levels and branches of government. “Improving the military’s whistleblower system is an important ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuit against Bayer revived by appellate court

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals restored a whistleblower’s lawsuit against Bayer alleging the pharmaceutical giant fraudulently led the Department of Defense to into purchasing its drug Baycol, a cholesterol-lowering statin that had been linked to 31 deaths. Laurie Simpson, former senior market research analyst for Bayer, filed her lawsuit in a federal court in Minneapolis under the False Claims Act, alleging that Bayer aggressively marketed Baycol in early 1998 to compete with other “cerivastation” drugs when it knew studies had found the drug to be less effective at lowering cholesterol than competing drugs when ... Read More

Hyperbaric chamber therapy may help heal brain injuries

Traumatic brain injures, called TBI for short, have been named as the “signature injury” of war veterans returning home from duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now medical researchers are planning to launch a study that will test the effectiveness of hyperbaric chambers in treating veterans with brain injuries. Because TBIs affect the most complex and least understood organ in the body – the brain – diagnosis and treatment often elude doctors, leaving patients to suffer from a lifetime of symptoms such as memory loss and forgetfulness, headaches, mood swings, depression, and even an exacerbation of secondary illnesses such as Post ... Read More