Maine Roofing Company Pays $439,500 to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
Contact: Andrew K. Lizotte
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II today announced that Belcon Enterprises, formerly Roof Systems of Maine (“Belcon”), has entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States in which it will pay $439,500 to resolve allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act.
Belcon is based in Bangor, Maine. As part of its business, Belcon provided roofing and siding services to commercial and industrial installations throughout the state of Maine, including as subcontractor on prime Government construction contracts. The settlement resolves allegations by the Government that Belcon knowingly caused false and fraudulent claims to be submitted in connection with roofing and siding work it performed as a subcontractor on three prime Government construction contracts between 2010 and 2014.
The Government alleged that Belcon knowingly billed and was paid for metal wall panel installation work which did not conform to applicable contract requirements and specifications at the Army National Guard’s Armed Services Reserve Center in Brunswick, Maine. Specifically, it was alleged that Belcon improperly directed and/or permitted the panels to be re-sized and altered, installed the panels at incorrect locations, and did not use sealant throughout the panel installation. The Government also alleged that Belcon knowingly used non-specified, off-contract materials on two roofing and siding projects for the Navy. For the Navy’s Power Plant Building in Cutler, Maine, it was alleged that the materials used by Belcon for flashing and trim on the project were thinner, less-expensive, and made by a different manufacturer than required by the contract. For the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Building 86 in Kittery, Maine, it was alleged that Belcon used plain carbon steel screws rather than the required copper, brass or Series 300 stainless steel fasteners on a copper installation, which will result in galvanic corrosion and safety and structural issues.
The allegations of fraud stated in the action were first brought to the attention of the Government by Brian Emery, who filed a lawsuit in late 2014 as a relator under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions. See United States ex rel. Emery v. Roof Systems of Maine, et al., 14-cv-00483-DBH (D. Me.). The Government will pay Mr. Emery a share of the settlement proceeds pursuant to the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions.
The False Claims Act permits the Government to recover up to three times the amount of damages incurred by the United States, in addition to civil penalties ranging from $5,500 to $11,000 per violation. Private parties who have knowledge of fraud committed against the Government may file suit on behalf of the Government and share in any recovery. The United States may also intervene and file its own lawsuit for treble damages and penalties, as it did in this case.
The federal government was represented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. Belcon cooperated throughout the Government’s investigation.