A NY Defense Lawyer Explains Government Contracting Fraud
Government contract law is aimed at preventing public corruption, including bribery and illegal kickbacks. There are criminal laws and civil laws which impose penalties on anyone suspected of involvement with government contract fraud.
Defendants who face accusations of defrauding the government will need to be prepared to fight against significant financial loss from False Claims Act cases, as well as prepared to defend against criminal charges. A NY defense attorney at Bukh Law Firm, PLLC can provide invaluable assistance when responding to contracting fraud allegations.
What is Government Contract Fraud?
Government contract fraud involves making false statements to the government, or causing false statements to be made. Material omissions and using documents knowing that the documents contain false information can also be types of fraud. Finally, paying illegal kickbacks to secure government contracts, and/or bribing officials to secure government contracts are related offenses which could also be broadly classified as fraud against the government.
Some of the different kinds of government contract fraud which could lead to prosecution include:
- Procurement fraud. Procurement fraud occurs when the government solicits competitive bids to determine which private contractor should provide goods and services. Misrepresenting contractor qualifications; making false statements in bidding; bribing officials; paying kickbacks; inflating the costs of materials; delivering inferior goods; and overbilling are all examples of common types of procurement fraud.
- Compliance fraud. Government contractors usually require compliance with a bevy of regulatory and statutory standards. Falsely certifying compliance is a form of fraud.
- Cross-charging. Government contractors with multiple contracts may bill for services or goods being provided under a different contract to gain a financial advantage. For example, a company with a fixed-price contract and a time and materials contract could charge for materials on the cost plus contract and then use the materials to complete the services contracted at the fixed price.
These are just a few of many examples of behaviors that could lead to accusations of government contract fraud. As soon as you are accused, you need to get help from a NY defense attorney. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON:
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Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
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Penalties for Government Contracting Fraud
There are many federal statutes that impose penalties for fraud under government contract law. Defendants could be charged under 18 U.S. Code Section 1001, which is a statute that broadly punishes false statements made to the government. A conviction for violating 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 could lead to five years imprisonment for each incidence of fraud. Other criminal statutes could also impose additional consequences, and it is common for defendants accused of fraud to face multi-count indictments they must defend against.
The False Claims Act also allows the government, or private individuals like whistleblowers, to file a civil case against anyone suspected of defrauding the government. The False Claims Act imposes a financial penalty including mandatory treble damages (three times the amount of money obtained in the fraud) as well as additional mandatory civil penalties totaling as high as $11,000 per false claim submitted.
The civil penalties may actually be a more serious threat for many defendants because there is a lower burden of proof in civil cases, whereas prosecutors in criminal cases must prove fraud beyond a reasonable doubt. Whistleblowers who come forward and bring fraud cases in special lawsuits called qui tam lawsuits also get to keep as much as 30 percent of the cash recovered by the government in a successful False Claims Act Case. This creates major financial incentive for people to come forward if there is a suspicion of fraud in contracting.
How a NY Defense Lawyer Helps if You’re Accused of Contractor Fraud
When you have been accused of government contracting fraud, you must act quickly to try to protect your financial security, avoid conviction, and keep a clean record. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has represented individuals and businesses in criminal and civil cases and has the necessary knowledge of government contract law to help build a vigorous defense. Call today to speak with a NY defense lawyer experienced in government contracting fraud cases so we can start now on developing your legal strategy and fighting for your future.