Defense Contractor SAIC Pays $5.98 Million to Settle False Claims Act Investigation
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – June 15, 2020
SAN DIEGO – Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a major defense contractor headquartered in Reston, Virginia, has paid $5,982,865 to resolve allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act. The settlement arises out of a contract for SAIC to provide information technology support to the U.S. Army.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU), with assistance from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, began its investigation after SAIC self-disclosed certain time charging and contract administration irregularities associated with a U.S. Army contract. The contract in question was awarded to SAIC by U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Expedited Professional & Engineering Support Services (AMCOM EXPRESS). Specifically, SAIC was awarded a particular task order (the contract) for “Soldier Protection Lab Systems Engineering, Development, and Modeling Support.” Portions of the contract were performed in San Diego County, in part, for the benefit and training of Marines at Camp Pendleton.
The United States contended that SAIC employees misused administrative leave by working on contract requirements for a certain project before funding was available and then later clearing those charges by adding extra billing hours that were not worked to a separate project. The United States also contended that SAIC employees were provided charge codes for their hours to be recorded to projects with available funding, while they continued to work on tasks that were not funded. Once the new funding arrived, the employees working on a project that provided the original funding would then charge their hours to the new project. The United States contended that SAIC knowingly submitted to the government false claims for payment for the mischarging on these projects.
“As always, we are committed to doing our part in preserving the integrity of the government contracting process and protecting the tax payer,” said Robert Brewer, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. He further noted that, “while it is encouraging to see a Fortune 500 corporation accept responsibility for its wrongdoing, we remain vigilant in our efforts to stem the tide of fraud, waste, and abuse that impacts our military.” On behalf of the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Brewer expressed gratitude to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Purcell and Paul Starita and the team of dedicated federal agents whose diligent work on this case led to the instant settlement. The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s MPFU was the lead investigative agency working with the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Section of the United States Attorney’s Office to bring this matter to a swift resolution. “We commend SAIC for coming forward with the contract discrepancies and working with law enforcement on this settlement,” said Frank Robey, Director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s MPFU. “The MPFU and our law enforcement partners, remain diligent in our efforts to ensure that those who disregard the law will be held accountable for their actions.”
This matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Purcell and Paul Starita and auditing personnel of the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in coordination with Special Agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and auditing personnel of the Defense Contract Audit Agency.