Defense Contractor ADS to pay $16m for fraudulently obtained small business contractsStaff Writer | August 12, 2017
Virginia Beach, Va.-based contractor ADS Inc. and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay the United States $16 million.
Whistleblower False Claims Act
The settlement further resolves allegations that ADS engaged in improper bid rigging relating to certain of the fraudulently obtained contracts. The settlement with ADS ranks as one of the largest recoveries involving alleged fraud in connection with small business contracting eligibility.
In order to qualify as a small business, companies must meet defined eligibility criteria, including requirements concerning size, ownership, and operational control.
The settlement with ADS resolves allegations that ADS, together with several purported small businesses that it controlled, fraudulently induced the government to award certain small business set-aside contracts by misrepresenting eligibility requirements.
The purported small businesses affiliated with ADS include Mythics Inc., London Bridge Trading, as well as MJL Enterprises, which falsely claimed to be an eligible service-disabled veteran-owned company, and SEK Solutions LLC and Karda Systems, both of which falsely claimed to qualify as socially or economically disadvantaged businesses under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
ADS and its affiliates allegedly concealed the companies’ affiliations with ADS and knowingly made misrepresentations concerning the size of the businesses and their eligibility as service-disabled or 8(a) qualified businesses.
Finally, the settlement resolves allegations that ADS engaged in illegal bid rigging schemes that inflated or distorted prices charged to the government under certain contracts.
The settlement with ADS resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in a portion of the government’s recovery.
The civil lawsuit was filed in federal district court in the District of Columbia by Ameliorate Partners LLP. As part of this resolution, the whistleblower will receive approximately $2.9 million. ■