WASHINGTON - Crawford and Company, an insurance services firm, has agreed to pay the United States $1,363,204 to resolve allegations that between 1992 and 2002 it violated the False Claims Act when it submitted invoices to the federal government that contained inflated charges, the Justice Department announced today. During the time period relevant to this investigation, the Atlanta-based company provided workers compensation-related services to the government, including services intended to streamline the delivery of medical care to injured federal employees, and to expedite the employee’s reentry into the workforce.
According to the government, some of these alleged false claim practices included billing the government for services at rates set by Crawford managers, rather than billing the actual time spent performing that service. Additionally, the company allegedly billed the entire time spent on one activity to multiple client files, instead of dividing that time between the applicable files, and attempted to pass along overhead expenses to the government by invoicing them as incurred costs.
"This settlement illustrates the United States' determination to recover funds inappropriately billed on government contracts," said Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. In 2003, a Crawford subsidiary pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in connection with similar conduct that occurred in its Baltimore and Norfolk offices.
This investigation was a joint effort by the Offices of the Inspectors General of the Department of Labor, the United States Postal Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Attorneys from the Justice Department’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, negotiated the civil settlement.