Connecticut Physician and Urgent Care Practice Pay Over $4.2 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Triumph Actuation Systems – Connecticut, LLC (“Triumph”) has entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States and has paid $478,586.49 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by inflating rates charged to and paid by the government on defense contracts.
Triumph is a limited liability company located in Windsor, Connecticut, that designs and manufactures mechanical and actuation components for commercial and U.S. military aircraft and military systems. The government contends that, between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2020, Triumph inflated the general and administrative (“G&A”) rates charged to and paid by the government and higher tier contractors on government contracts by including certain labor costs in those rates when, in fact, those same costs had already been directly charged to and paid by others. As a result of Triumph’s inflated G&A rates, Triumph was paid twice for the same costs.
“Federal contractors who falsely and fraudulently overbill the government, including defense contractors, will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Avery. “We thank the relator for coming forward to report the fraudulent conduct, and DCIS, Army CID, NCIS and DCAA for thoroughly investigating this matter.”
“Investigating allegations of cost mischarging on Department of Defense (DoD) contracts is a top priority for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the law enforcement arm of the DoD Office of Inspector General,” stated Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty, DCIS Northeast Field Office. “The DCIS is committed to working with its law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to ensure the integrity of the DoD procurement process. The Defense Contract Audit Agency’s Operations Investigative Support Division provided valuable assistance in this matter.”
“We are very pleased with today's announcement,” said Special Agent in Charge L. Scott Moreland of the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division’s Major Procurement Fraud Field Office. “This is a true testament to our continued commitment to work closely and seamlessly with our fellow law enforcement agencies to protect the financial interests of the United States Army and the United States Government as a whole.”
“Procurement fraud wastes taxpayer dollars, damages the integrity of the Department of the Navy procurement process, and ultimately threatens Navy and Marine Corps readiness,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Wiest of the NCIS Northeast Field Office. “NCIS and our federal partners remain committed to ensuring the good stewardship of taxpayer dollars and the safety of Department of the Navy warfighters by fully investigating all allegations of procurement fraud.”
The False Claims Act allegations resolved by the settlement were originally brought in a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private parties to bring suit on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery. The relator (whistleblower), a former employee of Triumph, will receive $90,931.43 as his share of the recovery.
This investigation was conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Department of the Army Criminal Investigative Division, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Defense Contract Audit Agency Operations Investigative Support Division. This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Gruber, with the assistance of Auditor Susan N. Spiegel.
The case resolved by this settlement was captioned U.S. ex rel. Balestrieri v. Triumph Actuation Systems – Connecticut, LLC and Triumph Group, Inc. (Docket No. 17-cv-1945).