Security company settles with gov't for billing false claims

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Wackenhut Services, Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $650,000 to resolve allegations that it defrauded the government for security services at the Savannah River Site.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said the settlement resolves allegations that WSI submitted hundreds of thousands in expenses to be reimbursed by the Department of Energy from 2001 through 2005. The only problem, the government says, is that those expenses were expressly forbidden to be reimbursed.

Nettles said expenses included, among other things, a charter boat cruise, a Polynesian drum show, and alcohol for WSI employees. The government contends that WSI violated both the False Claims Act and the Federal Acquisitions Regulations Act.
The government says WSI submitted claims which included expressly unallowable costs under the and later said the claims did not include any expressly unallowable costs. The FAR also has separate penalties for violating its provisions which were resolved in this settlement.
"This is a significant settlement," said Nettles. "When providing services paid for by the government, contractors must adhere to the requirements of the FAR."

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