Construction and Minority Business Fraud
Federal, state, and local governments spend billions of dollars on construction projects every year. Often, these contracts go to prime contractors and subcontractors that cut corners, deliver substandard results, and provide worthless services. In these cases, the federal False Claims Act and state and local false claims statutes allow whistleblowers to come forward to help the government recover the money that has been lost to fraud. In the event of a recovery, such whistleblowers are awarded a share of what the government recovers.
One common example of construction fraud is fraud related to disadvantaged business enterprises, also known as minority- and woman-owned business entities (“M/WBEs”). M/WBE fraud occurs when a prime contractor misrepresents to the government that the prime contractor will spend a certain amount of the contract value on subcontractors that are legitimate M/WBEs. In this case, instead of using an M/WBE to provide legitimate, commercially-useful goods or services, the prime contractor arranges for an M/WBE to act as a front or a “pass-through” without performing any actual work.
Loevy & Loevy has significant experience representing whistleblowers in construction and M/WBE fraud matters. For example, in 2014, the United States and the State of Illinois intervened in and settled for $12 million a case we filed on behalf of our client Ryan Keiser. In that case, Mr. Keiser alleged that McHugh Construction used pass-through M/WBEs on a number of heavy construction contracts in Illinois.
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If your civil rights have been violated or you are a whistleblower, we encourage you to contact our attorneys today for an initial consultation.
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