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What is government contract fraud?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2023 | Qui Tam Cases, Whistleblower Protection

The U.S. government spends trillions of dollars each year on the military, Social Security, health insurance, economic security programs and other related services, goods and programs. They award contracts to government contractors through bid wars and supposedly healthy competition.

Government contractors commit government fraud when they use deceptive means and false representation to obtain a government contract. The United States government is the victim, and consequently, so are the federal taxpayers.

How do government contractors commit fraud?

A government contract usually involves an outside contractor and a U.S. government employee or official. Someone with authority approves the contract but is not necessarily there to monitor how the parties fulfill the contract obligations. These contracts involve complicated processes and substantial sums of financial transactions. They involve multiple parties who may or may not have a hidden agenda. Here are a few ways government contractors can commit fraud:

  • Overbilling contracts
  • Providing products of lesser quality than what the contractor promised to deliver
  • Bid rigging
  • Providing defective products
  • Improper cost allocation
  • Falsifying certifications and documents

It typically happens when the U.S. government looks for contractors to accomplish public projects, such as roads, airports and highways. However, government fraud occurs also in military contracts. Varying contractors provide clothes, food, weapons, medical equipment, tanks and other military needs. They may attempt to cut corners to cut costs and earn more than the officially agreed payment.

The significance of whistleblowers to government fraud

Government fraud occurs in secret but not always in private. In fact, it could be happening right under your nose. If you believe someone is defrauding the federal government, you should report it immediately. You should also report any form of misconduct that you witnessed in the fulfillment of a government contract. You could help the government save billions of dollars in current and future dealings.

The U.S. government not only protects whistleblowers but also rewards them generously. It would be wise to speak to someone who can help protect your rights and accurately evaluate the rewards you could be eligible to receive for your service.