San Antonio Contracts Lawyer Discusses Construction and Procurement Law

San Antonio Contracts Lawyer builder with blueprint shaking partner handIf you think you have a case related to government contract-related fraud, a San Antonio contracts lawyer may be able to help. From highways and bridges to government buildings and subsidized homes, both state and federal governments spend billions every year on different construction projects. Unfortunately, these construction programs are a frequent target for fraudulent behavior. Government construction contract-related fraud often includes bid-rigging, bribes, falsifying minority contractor status, overcharging man hours and materials, illegal kickbacks, and substandard workmanship and materials. Additionally, failing to follow contract specifications and falsified documents such as progress reports are also considered fraudulent behavior.

Other Fraudulent and False Claims

State and federal government organizations have also been found to be the victims of fraudulent and false claims when they purchase services, materials, and goods for use in their programs and by their workers. The items include everything from computers and office equipment to fuel and food. Each time the government spends money on goods, materials and services, the government risks opening itself up to fraudulent and false claims. As with construction projects, common types of fraud include providing sub-standard or used materials and goods, bid-rigging and overcharging, and failure to follow the contract.

The Process

If you have evidence of fraud and decide you’re ready to blow the whistle, contact a lawyer to represent yourself. Together, you can research and carefully consider whether you will receive recovery funds for the case and how those may be worth. Under the False Claims Act, you can sue an individual or a company that is committing this kind of fraud. The qui tam lawsuit is then filed “under seal,” meaning that it is kept secret from all parties while the government allows the Justice Department an opportunity for further investigation. While the accused still has no knowledge of the lawsuit, the government will work with your attorney to decide whether it will act on the case. The government rarely joins in on a qui tam lawsuit; however, the government’s participation in your lawsuit can give you better odds. The False Claims Act seals the case for 60 days, although courts can extend that seal to allow the government more time for investigation. It’s important to note that the government can partially lift the seal on the lawsuit to discuss the investigation and a potential settlement with the accused party. Settlement negotiations are usually the favored outcome of a qui tam lawsuit rather than a court trial. The awarded compensation for the lawsuit varies according to the quality and depth of investigation in the case. If the government acts on the case and the case results in compensation, you (the whistleblower) are entitled to 15 to 25 percent of the funds. However, if the government is not included in the case, you receive 25 to 30 of the recovery funds.

Contact a San Antonio Contracts Lawyer

Whistleblowers serving under the qui tam provisions of government false claims acts are often responsible for uncovering construction- and procurement-related fraud. If you believe you have information related to potential government-related fraud, contact Brylak Law at (210) 372-8111. A San Antonio contracts lawyer may prove to be a valuable ally in fighting fraud.