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Federal False Claims Actions may be based on False Estimates

Federal False Claim Action

A federal appeals court has recently concluded that even estimates known to be false can give rise to a federal false claim action.   Although bid-rigging has long been recognized as the basis for a false claim action, for the first time, the 9th Circuit court has ruled that underbidding can create liability under the False Claims Act. Underbidding is common when government contracts, especially large defense contracts are involved.   An example of activity that could be a false claim would be a false estimate.  In other words, the bidder provides the government with a false estimate of how much the work will cost. There does not, however, have to be evidence that the bidder specifically intended to commit fraud against the government.   The bidder must know that the amount bid is not what it actually intends to charge.  In the alternative, what is important under the False Claims Act issue is whether the bidder deliberately ignored or recklessly disregarded the true cost of the work.

Many Different Types of False Claims Actions

Because the government contracts to buy many different types of products and services, the rules relating to these purchases are complex. The requirements for brining a false claim action are also detailed and complicated.  When you think you have information that a contract was under bid, it is important, then, to contact an attorney experienced in false claims actions who can determine whether such an action would be appropriate in a particular situation.

Contact Us To Learn More

If you have discovered evidence of government fraud, contact an experienced False Claims Act attorney before blowing the whistle. You may be entitled to a substantial reward and the legal protections afforded to whistleblowers under state and federal laws. The attorneys of Berger & Montague are nationally recognized experts in Whistleblower/Qui Tam actions with over a decade of experience pursuing these complex fraud cases. For more information or to schedule your confidential consultation, use the form on this page or call us at 1-800-424-6690.

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For further reading:
What is the Anti-Retaliation Provision of the Federal False Claim Act?
Life of a Qui Tam Lawsuit & Why You Want the Government to Intervene
What is the False Claims Act?
False Claims Act Broadens for Qui Tam Relators

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