What is a defense contractor?

A defense contractor is defined as any person or company who enters into a contract with the United States government related to national defense. They may provide goods or services, or both. These goods and services are used for the production of material or for the performance of services for national defense. Usually the contract is with a branch of the U.S. military. Jobs commonly performed by defense contractors include data protection and purchasing and procurement services.

What is defense contractor fraud?

When an individual or company acting as a defense contractor knowingly deceives the government in order to receive personal benefit, usually financial, this is fraud and a violation of the False Claims Act (FCA). In 1863, Congress enacted the False Claims Act (FCA) to hold individuals and companies responsible when they defraud governmental programs.

Types of defense contractor fraud include:

  • billing the government for time spent on a commercial job or other project,
  • charging multiple times for the same service,
  • substituting a cheaper or inferior product for one originally promised but still billing for the more expensive or better product.

What is a whistleblower?

The FCA includes what is called “qui tam,” shorthand for a Latin term, a provision that allows a person not affiliated with the government to file claims on behalf of the government. This has come to be known as “whistleblowing,” because the person is drawing attention to fraud, or “blowing the whistle” on foul play.

There also is a part of the False Claims Act that is known as the “whistleblower protection” provision. This provision ensures that if you are fired, demoted, suspended, threatened or discriminated against in any other way by an employer as a result of your filing a report of fraud, that you will be reinstated to your former position. This includes receiving any seniority that may have been affected, as well as back pay, interest and other compensation that may be due as a result of damages or losses you suffered as a result of filing a claim.

What can I do?

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