WASHINGTON – Workforce Central Florida and Workforce Central Florida Foundation Inc. have agreed to pay the United States $3,483,664.19 to settle claims that they defrauded the U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department announced today.
Workforce Central Florida (WCF) receives federal grants to provide such services as job placement and training, temporary cash assistance, and special support services such as subsidized child care and transportation. The civil settlement resolves allegations that WCF and the Workforce Central Florida Foundation, both located in Lake Mary, Fla., violated the False Claims Act by misusing federal grant funds to make improvements to their privately-owned administrative office and One-Stop Center and by then charging excessive lease costs to federal grants.
"Today’s settlement illustrates the importance that the United States places on ensuring that organizations make proper use of federal grants," said Assistant Attorney General Peter D. Keisler of the Department's Civil Division.
The allegations arose from a lawsuit filed by Educational Career Development Inc., under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, a federal law that allows private individuals, called relators, to sue on behalf of the United States. The lawsuit was unsealed on June 26, 2006 in Orlando. The relator in this case will receive $627,059.55 as its share of the proceeds.
The civil investigation and settlement was handled by the Civil Division of the Justice Department.
The action is entitled United States ex rel. Educational Career Development Inc. v. Central Florida Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc. and Workforce Central Florida, Inc., (Fawsett, J.), 6:04-cv-93-Orl-19DAB (M.D. Fl.).