Rabon Law Firm Successfully Pursues False Claims Act Case Against General Contractor and Subcontractor on Project at Camp Lejeune
In a partially intervened, partially declined case, we represented the whistleblower in a case against Harper Construction, a large, national general contracting company, and Frazier Masonry Company - both based in Southern California. The defendants had won a very large construction contract at Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina. The general contractor needed a certain level of participation by small businesses to meet its Small Business Subcontracting Plan, which was a requirement of it having won the contract. To meet those requirements, the general contractor leaned on the masonry subcontractor to help fulfill the obligations. The masonry subcontractor then "flipped" the subcontract to a sham small business that was held in the name of the owner's son-in-law, claiming that this was a legitimate "Veteran Owned Small Business" (VOSB). In reality, Frazier Masonry managed and performed the subcontract, and the VOSB existed only on paper. Using this scheme, the defendants falsely reported that they were in compliance with the Small Business Subcontracting Plan.
After we filed, the case was jointly investigated by the Department of Justice and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). In the parallel criminal case, the owner and an officer of the masonry subcontractor each pleaded guilty to a felony fraud charge. The Government intervened in the qui tam as to the masonry subcontractor but not as to the general contractor. We then proceeded to litigate this matter as a "non-intervened" qui tam case. We recovered total settlements, along with the Government's intervened part, in the amount of $7.4 million. Our client was rewarded with a Relator's Share of 21% of the intervened part of the case and 27.5% of the non-intervened side.
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina