FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1998
TDD (202) 514-1888
UNITED STATES SUES BUILDING CONTRACTOR FOR FALSE BILLINGS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice today sued a Charlotte, N.C., building contractor for submitting more than $10 million in false claims to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in connection with construction of a federal prison near Estill, S.C., in 1991.
Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Frank Hunger and United States Attorney for South Carolina J. Rene' Josey said the complaint was filed today in U.S. District Court in Beaufort, S.C.
On December 19, 1994, Metric Constructors, Inc., submitted a certified claim to BOP seeking more than $13 million in damages resulting from project delays allegedly caused by BOP under a March 1, 1991, contract for the construction of a Federal Correctional Institute. An investigation revealed that Metric fraudulently inflated its claim by more than $10 million.
The investigation further revealed that Metric falsely certified that it completed certain work, even though the work was defective or incomplete.
The complaint includes one count, pursuant to the Contract Disputes Act's anti-fraud provisions, that seeks the recovery of civil penalties equal to that portion of Metric's claim that is based upon misrepresentation of fact or fraud. Fourteen additional counts seek the recovery of civil penalties and damages under the False Claims Act for Metric's knowing submission of claims to BOP for the purpose of obtaining payments under the contract. One count seeks to recover damages at common law for Metric's fraudulent conduct.
The investigation was conducted by the Office of the United States Attorney for South Carolina, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, and the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.