Published: May 26, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its ruling in Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc., et al. v. United States ex. rel. Carter, a case we reported on previously (http://www.saul.com/blogs/whistleblower-wire/4528). The Court was asked to decide 1) whether the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (“WSLA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3287, applies to FCA claims to toll the statute of limitations when the U.S. is at war; and 2) whether the FCA’s first-to-file bar, found at 31 U.S.C.

. . . . . .

Published: April 3, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week announced its first victory in a case where it accused a defendant of stifling potential whistleblowers. Houston-based contractor KBR, Inc. was alleged to have used confidentiality agreements that could have prevented current or former employees from reporting securities violations to the commission without first getting approval from KBR's legal department.

. . . . . .

Published: February 19, 2015

In Brief:

  • The Fourth Circuit recently applied the theory of implied certification to resuscitate a False Claims Act lawsuit against a military contractor, holding that knowingly withholding information regarding noncompliance with a material contractual provision regarding marksmanship qualifications of security guards constituted a false claim within the meaning of the Act.
  • The court’s decision provides guidance as to whether a contractual provision may be deemed “material” for purposes of the False Claims Act, which requires that a false statement be “material” in order to support a claim.

. . . . . .

Published: January 14, 2015

On January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc., et al. v. United States ex. rel. Carter, a pivotal False Claims Act case, which Saul Ewing’s White Collar and Government Enforcement Practice first discussed in August 2014.  In that case, which arises from a qui tam claim advanced by Benjamin Carter against his former employer, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), the court is considering two important issues.

. . . . . .

Published: December 19, 2014

In Brief:

  • Pleading regulatory noncompliance does not equate to a false claim; plaintiffs must show scienter.  
  • Federal courts have refused to permit plaintiffs to use the False Claims Act to police technical compliance with complex federal regulations.  The court in this case advised that it would likely have stayed the case and submitted the issues to the Federal Aviation Administration for consideration if the alleged regulatory noncompliance had not already been reviewed and approved by the agency.

. . . . . .

Published: December 9, 2014

Defense contractor Supreme Foodservice pleaded guilty on December 8, 2014 to fraud charges and settled civil False Claims Act allegations regarding overcharges to the U.S. government for food and water provided to American soldiers in Afghanistan.   Supreme Foodservice paid $288 million in the criminal case and agreed to pay an additional $101 million to settle the separate False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former executive of the company.

. . . . . .

Published: August 28, 2014

In Brief

  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal which will likely reconcile an appellate split as to whether the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act applies in False Claims Act cases and the first-to-file bar.
  • The Court’s holding with regard to the application of each of these doctrines will significantly impact the viability of a number of potential False Claims Act claims.

. . . . . .

Published: July 14, 2014

In Brief

  •  In contrast to the recent, public and record-breaking False Claims Act settlements with Big Pharma, the government’s intervention in a relator’s suit against a computer software company, alleging that the contractor overcharged agencies by at least $100 million since 2006, should be a warning to other industries – the classic FCA suit is still as effective as ever in recovering against fraudulent billing based on a contract for services

. . . . . .

Published: June 3, 2014

In Brief

  • Schuylkill Products case highlights how a whistleblower can put an employer on track to face both criminal and civil proceedings under the False Claims Act.

. . . . . .