Background - Practices (Details)

False Claims Act and Procurement Fraud


Representative Matters

  • False Claims Act. Grant of summary judgment dismissing with prejudice qui tam action alleging fraudulent review of Veteran’s medical records (C.D. Cal).

  • False Claims Act Settlement. Crowell & Moring represented a construction company in a Department of Justice driven False Claims Act investigation related to set-aside contracts. With the threat of the government intervening in the case and suing for tens of millions of dollars, the company engaged C&M. Our lawyers took the lead in interacting with DoJ, negotiating with the government and making several rounds of additional presentations to the government to frame the issues, defenses, and arguments that an important employer in an economically depressed region should not be forced to defend against such a case. The company settled with the Department of Justice for a modest amount, paid over time, and without admitting or denying fault. This preserved the company’s ability to remain in business.

  • Export-Import Bank Financing of Pumping and Irrigation Equipment. Judgment for defendant, overturning jury verdict on appeal. Initial judgment of zero damages (penalties only) after two-week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in an intervened False Claims Act/qui tam case in which the Department of Justice sought in excess of $220 million. The case involved allegations of excessive commissions paid to and bribery of foreign officials by defendant's sales representative in connection with sales of pumping and irrigation equipment to Nigerian states where Ex-Im’s loans were repaid in full plus interest and fees. The government appealed the damages judgment and MWI cross-appealed on liability. The D.C. Circuit overturned the jury verdict and remanded with instructions to enter judgment for MWI, finding that MWI was not liable because it had reasonably interpreted an ambiguous regulation. The government’s petition for rehearing en banc was denied.

  • Department of State and Department of Homeland Security allegations. Verdict in favor of defendant after an eight day jury trial involving allegations of overbilling the Department of State on security contract in Iraq and Afghanistan; dismissals of other allegations against five other corporate and individual defendants and involving myriad other allegations, including all claims asserted concerning another security contract with the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, were obtained prior to trial. The verdict and summary judgment rulings were upheld on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

  • U.S. Embassy construction fraud allegations. Affirmed summary judgment on all claims against a foreign construction company in a qui tam suit alleging fraud in connection with building the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

  • Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE false claims. Despite a 65 page amended complaint alleging Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE false claims from services either not provided or performed by unqualified personnel, the court dismissed the case with prejudice, noting that "the time for…investigation was before the case was instituted in the first place."

  • Grand jury investigation. Successfully defended a U.S. aerospace company in a grand jury investigation in Florida alleging collaboration with an Israeli Air Force general who stole millions in U.S. aid funds. By contract, our client's principal competitor pleaded guilty and paid $69 million in damages and fines.

  • Defective pricing. After a three-week bench trial, the court ruled in favor of our client on virtually every issue in a case based on defective pricing and awarded a judgment less than half that originally offered by the company in settlement of related non-fraud claims.

  • State Department administrative charges. Defended a major U.S. aerospace company against State Department administrative charges arising from the alleged unauthorized transfer of technical data and performance of defense services in connection with satellite launch in China.

  • False Claims Act. Successfully defended defective-pricing-based False Claims Act case (in federal district court - one of the few tried to conclusion) principally involving alleged nondisclosure of changes to a bill of materials.

  • Breach of "dual source" commitment. Established that the Navy breached a "dual source" commitment that Pratt & Whitney would share in Navy jet engine awards, soliciting and accepting a competitor's 100% "buy-or" offer, leading to recovery of $150 million in common law damages, including lost profits.

  • Subcontractor Claim. Sustained a subcontractor's "changes" claim for the cost of testing a stream turbine generator, testing not contemplated by the prime contract but required by the Corps of Engineers.

  • Latent Defects. Defeated a $45 million Army latent defect claim that helicopters did not meet fatigue life requirements by establishing that no contract requirements supported the claim.

  • Conspiracy and monopolization claims. Obtained summary judgment on behalf of aircraft engine manufacturer against conspiracy and monopolization claims by would-be distributor of aeroengine aftermarket services.

  • Product liability claims. Participated in briefing that persuaded the Supreme Court to approve and define the "government contractor defense" against product liability claims.

  • Common law claims. Represented a major technology company in litigation arising out of the disappearance of a Navy pilot during the Gulf War, Speicher-Harris v. Motorola, No. 98-1008-Civ-J-20B (M.D. Fla.). The Complaint asserted common law claims of negligent product design and manufacture, failure to warn and strict liability. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her claims with prejudice during the initial discovery phase.