The United States announced that it has taken over a qui tam lawsuit against Triple Canopy, Inc. (“Triple”) based in Reston, Virginia. According to the Justice Department, the claims are related to a $10 million dollar contract awarded to Triple in 2009 for the provision of security services at Al Asad Airbase in Iraq. Al Asad is the second largest airbase in Iraq.
The complaint alleges that Triple violated the False Claims Act when it submitted bills to the U.S. for hundreds of security guards who did not meet the minimum qualifications required under the contract.
According to the complaint, the contract required that all security guards be able to meet certain proficiency standards in firing AK-47 assault rifles and other firearms to ensure the employees could use their weapons safely and accurately.
The allegations were first brought to light by whistleblower Omar Badr, a former Triple employee, in a qui tam complaint filed in 2011 in the Eastern District of Virginia. If the government is successful in proving the allegations, or if the matter is settled, Badr may be entitled to a percentage of the recovery as his reward under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.