Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Citgo Official Pleads Guilty in $7 Million Bribery Scheme

Former Citgo procurement officer José Luis De Jongh Atencio, a dual U.S.-Venezuelan citizen, has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge for his participation in a bribery scheme to obtain contracts from Citgo and its parent Petróleos de Venezuela SA. While working for Citgo, De Jongh accepted $7 million in bribes, which he directed into […]
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Court Split: Sixth Circuit Says FCA Anti-Retaliation Provision Also Applies to Former Employees; United...

The Sixth Circuit vacated a lower court’s decision partially dismissing a complaint alleging post-employment retaliation under the FCA and remanded the matter for further...

Service Contract Act Violations – Debarment is a Real Risk

Can you get debarred and lose your federal contracts for a Service Contract Act violation? In a word, yes. However, proactive contractors can minimize the consequences of an otherwise honest mistake—the commission of which is not uncommon. In an earlier installment, Abrahams Wolf-Rodda discussed some of the practical aspects of responding to a Department of […]
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Danger! Danger!: Retaliation Against Employees is Increasing (Part II of II)

In the second part of his 2-part series on the Ethics and Compliance Initiative’s 2021 Global Business Ethics Survey, Michael Volkov says the survey results clearly show that organizations are increasingly retaliating against employees who report misconduct. “The corporate misconduct landscape is littered with examples of organizations that have suffered major scandals, poor performance, government […]
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Federal Agencies Intensify Focus on CARES Act Fraud

Marshaling additional resources and strengthening civil enforcement to combat COVID-related fraud more effectively increases the stakes for program funding recipients: Failure to follow SBA regulations or other rules related to program funding can result in treble damages and other significant penalties even if the conduct does not rise to the level of criminal charges. In light of […]
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Business Owner Pays $635,000 to Settle Alleged Grant Fraud

Owen Hughes, owner of Eon Research Corporation in Davis, California, has agreed to pay the United States $635,000 to resolve allegations of grant fraud. Hughes certified to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – part of the NIH – that he had implemented financial safeguards to ensure the proper use of Small Business Innovation […]
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Former Contracting Officer Sentenced for Scheme Involving Fraudulent Hiring of Relative

Diane D. Sturgis of New Jersey has been sentenced to two years in prison, $45,000 in restitution, and a $10,000 fine, for engaging in a bribery and procurement fraud scheme. Sturgis served as a contracting officer for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, where she supervised several contracts awarded to a Virginia IT and data management […]
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Bristol-Myers Squibb Pays $75 Million to Settle Alleged Underpayment of Rebates

Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to pay a total of $75 million plus interest, to resolve allegations that it knowingly underpaid rebates owed...

Fastest 5 Minutes IT, Supply Chain, DOJ’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force, and American Jobs...

This week’s episode of Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” covers the Department of Commerce’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating information and communications technology and services, an update from the Procurement Collusion Strike Force, GAO testimony about ongoing supply chain challenges at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the American Jobs Plan, and is hosted […]
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DOJ Continues to Prosecute SBA Program Fraud

A recent guilty plea involving a construction business in Texas demonstrates that DOJ continues to prosecute companies and individuals that obtain contracts under programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration for which they are ineligible under program rules. The SBA is designed to assist small businesses, including by developing programs that offer contracts “set […]
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