Akal Security Inc., one of the largest contract security providers in the country, will pay the United States $18 million to resolve allegations that it violated the terms of its contract to provide trained civilian guards at eight U.S. Army bases.
The brave whistleblowers that filed a civil False Claims Act qui tam suit were: Tony Barnes, Raymond Borggreen and Roger Riche. They had firsthand knowledge of the fraud, since they worked as security gaurds for AKAL at Ft. Riley. After investigations by the Department of Defense into AKAL making false claims for payment regarding work contracts with the government, the following allegations were made about Akal: some of the supplied security guards allegedly failed to satisfy weapons qualification requirements and receive other training, and the contractor allegedly failed to satisfy contractual man-hour requirements.
Of course Akal denied all allegations, however, they have agreed to cooperate in the investigation, and has agreed to pay the United States $18 million, to settle the lawsuit.
A warm round of applause for the brave and diligent following key individuals and organizations: the Department of Defense, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS), Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Schodorf, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Metzger, auditor Debra Heston, the U.S. Attorney offices in the Western District of Texas, the Southern District of Georgia, the Eastern District of North Carolina, the Eastern District of Kentucky, the Western District of Kentucky, the Northern District of Alabama, and the Western District of Washington.
As former Federal Prosecutors, we know the importance of teamwork when prosecuting complex cases for the government. When prosecuting civil False Claims Act qui tam cases, it is important to have whistleblowers (relators) with first hand knowledge and proof that is not in the public domain. Brian F. LaBovick mentioned in an earlier post on the Whistleblower Law Blog, there are several things that a whistleblower needs when bringing a successful qui tam suit. Although it is not always easy for a whistleblower, the whistleblower rewards can be great. The relator can receive a reward of 15 percent to 25 percent of what the government recovers, if the government joins the qui tam case and if the government declines to join the qui tam lawsuit, the relator can receive a reward of 25 percent to 30 percent of what the government recovers.
Click Here to read more on the Akal Security story from the US Department of Justice.
The Whistleblower Law Blog is presented as a service of the Private Law Firm, LaBovick & LaBovick, P.A., Civil Justice Prosecutors. LaBovick & LaBovick is a Plaintiff's firm that represents whistleblowers in Florida and throughout the nation in qui tam (False Claims Act) litigation.