WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss announced today that Hunt Companies, Inc. (“Hunt”), one of the largest providers of privatized military housing to the U.S. Armed Forces, has agreed to a $500,000.00 settlement with the government to resolve allegations of fraud at the Dover Air Force Base arising under the False Claims Act.
Hunt provides privatized military housing at Dover Air Force base. For its services, Hunt is eligible to receive quarterly performance incentive fees if it meets certain performance objectives such as maintaining the residences while they are occupied and preparing the residences for new tenants once they are vacated. Between January 2013 and June 2019, Hunt submitted materially false information to the Air Force in order to receive higher performance incentive payouts from the Government. The settlement agreement resolves these allegations; there has been no admission of fault.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware is committed to fighting for the wellbeing of our servicemembers and their families, especially those stationed at Dover Air Force Base,” said U.S. Attorney Weiss. “When companies put servicemembers’ welfare at risk to maximize profit, they cheat the government as well as everyone who serves our country. We will not tolerate such disappointing conduct.”
“In addition to the extensive and dedicated collaborative efforts among DCIS, AFOSI, and the Department of Justice, the Air Force Audit Agency played a crucial role in the case,” said Special Agent in Charge William W. Richards, Air Force Office of Special Investigations. “AFOSI, in concert with our federal law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, stand united in our commitment to ensuring the safety and welfare of the Air Force’s most valuable assets, our Airmen and their families. We will continue to combat fraud and hold those accountable that would threaten the Air Force’s ability to defend the United States and our citizens,” added SA Richards.
The settlement announced today resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. The government’s claims are based in part on a whistleblower suit filed by a former employee of Hunt. A whistleblower suit, or qui tam action under the False Claims Act, is commenced by an individual, known as a “relator,” filing a complaint under seal in the U.S. District Court, and providing a copy of the complaint and other evidence to the local U.S. Attorney. The United States then has an opportunity to investigate the claims. The False Claims Act provides the whistleblowers with a share of the government’s recovery.
The resolutions obtained in this matter were the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware and the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
This matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jesse Wenger and Shamoor Anis.
Related court documents and information from the civil lawsuit are on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cv-107-MN.