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U.S. Court of Appeals Allows Underbidding Qui Tam Complaint to Continue

A whistleblower has been given the green light by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to pursue a False Claims Act case against Lockheed Martin Corp. (“Lockheed”). The whistleblower alleged that Loral Systems Co., acquired by Lockheed, knowingly underbid on a federal contract in order to win the contract.

The matter was a case of first impression before the court on the issue of whether a whistleblower can pursue allegations under the False Claims Act against a government contractor that deliberately understates the cost to complete a contract in order to win the contract.

The whistleblower, Nyle Hooper, was formerly a senior project engineer for Lockheed. In 2005, Hooper filed a whistleblower complaint under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act against Loral Systems Co. The qui tam complaint alleged that Loral knowingly provided false information to the U.S. Air Force to win a contract to replace software and hardware used in space and missile launches. The complaint further alleged that, after Loral was acquired by Lockheed, Lockheed provided false information to the government in order to get re-bids.

In its decision, the Ninth Circuit concluded that knowingly submitting a contract bid that does not reflect what the bidder actually intends to charge to complete the contract, may constitute a source of liability under the False Claims Act.

If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or e-mail kelly@mccaberabin.com.