Department of Justice Grantee Pays $105,000 to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
NEWARK, N.J. – A company and its owner have agreed to pay $105,000 to settle allegations that they failed to properly account for grant money given to Justice Planners International, a joint venture created to provide juvenile detention center consulting services to Native American tribes, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and Michael Horowitz, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice, announced today.
Mark Goldman of Atlanta, Georgia, and Mark Goldman Associates (MGA) have agreed to resolve allegations that they violated the federal False Claims Act. They have agreed to pay $105,000 to the United States to resolve the federal and civil claims.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Beginning in October 2005 Goldman and MGA allegedly failed to properly account for $2,369,838 drawn from Justice Department grants. These funds were used by Goldman and his business partner, Justice Solutions Group, of Closter, New Jersey, to provide training and technical assistance to Native American tribes in planning and constructing correctional facilities. While there was no indication that Goldman and MGA failed to perform the services as required by the grants, they nevertheless failed to maintain books and records to satisfactorily account for the funds drawn down from those grants.
The civil settlement agreement is between the United States of America – acting through the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ OIG), and Goldman and MGA.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited Special Agent in Charge M. Elise Chawaga of the DOJ OIG with the investigation leading to the settlement.
The government is represented by Special Litigation Counsel Anthony J. LaBruna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Division in Newark.
The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only; there have been no admissions of liability.
Defense counsel: Brian McEvoy Esq., Atlanta, Ga.