United States Recovers $300,000 Resolving Allegations That Federal Oil Lesse Violated the False Claims Act
DENVER -- The Acting United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, Bob Troyer, today announced the recovery of $300,000 as settlement of allegations that General Production Service of California, Inc. (“GPS”) violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to pay money owed on oil produced from a federal lease.
The Settlement Agreement resolves contentions by the United States that GPS chronically failed to timely report oil production from its federal lease, and, from October 2010 through July 2016, failed to report and pay its royalty obligation to the United States. These failures occurred despite periodic contact from the Department of the Interior.
“Stealing from taxpayers is what this is. We don’t tolerate that,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.
Special Agent in Charge Ron Gonzales, Office of Inspector General - Energy Investigations Unit commented that “this is an excellent example of federal agencies working together, collaboratively and effectively, to ensure that oil and gas companies operating in areas within the Department's jurisdiction meet their professional and legal responsibilities. The OIG is committed to work with our partners within the Department of Justice and Department of Interior to ensure accountability within the Department’s revenue collection programs."
"The Bureau of Land Management takes its oversight responsibilities seriously, and will work diligently with its partners to hold liable those companies that fail to meet their legal and regulatory commitments," said Shannon Tokos, Chief, Special Investigations Group of the Bureau of Land Management.
The United States Attorney’s Office acknowledges the cooperation and teamwork demonstrated by governmental entities involved in today’s recovery. Special thanks are extended to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor, the Energy Investigations Unit of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General, and the Special Investigations Group of the Bureau of Land Management. The United States Attorney’s Office in Denver, Colorado works closely with these offices in the pursuit of unpaid or underpaid oil and natural gas revenue, claims for which are processed at the Office of Natural Resources Revenue at the Federal Center in Lakewood.
The United States was represented in this matter by Assistant United States Attorney Andrea Wang of United States Attorney’s Office in Denver, Colorado.
The Settlement Agreement is neither an admission of liability by GPS, nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.