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DOJ Intervenes in Inchcape FCA suit

The Department of Justice ("DOJ") entered into a False Claims Act ("FCA") suit against a defense contractor that allegedly caused false claims to be made to the U.S. Government. Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Ltd. ("Inchcape" or the "Company") is accused of overcharging the U.S. Government for port services around the world.

The DOJ decided there was enough evidence to intervene in the case and was able to document several instances in which Inchcape simply overcharged the U.S. Government, such as a 1,000 percent markup for removing oil from a barge in Bahrain. In a separate instance, the Company charged the U.S. Government for disposing of the U.S.S. Ronal Reagan's waste even though such charges were already included in other contracts. An attorney for the whistleblowers called the complaint "weighty" and explained that it was thoroughly investigate. The list of overcharges is fairly long and represents a significant FCA challenge for the Company.

Inchcape argues that the allegations are false and unfounded. In a statement, the Company explained, "the company sees no basis for the complaint and objects to the way the company has been characterized." The DOJ, on the other hand, begs to differ. According to information obtained by the U.S. Navy, there were conversations between Inchcape management and staff that demonstrated that Inchcape had knowledge of and willingly continued to wrongfully charge the U.S. Government

The legal team at SFMS has significant experience litigating FCA matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this posting, please contact Alec Berin (aberin@sfmslaw.com) or Chiharu Sekino (csekino@sfmslaw.com). We can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP is a law firm with offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. SFMS is an active member of Integrated Advisory Group (www.iaginternational.org), which provides us with the ability to provide our clients with access to excellent legal and accounting resources throughout the globe. For more information about our firm, please visit us at www.sfmslaw.com.

Sources: http://www.law360.com/articles/728916/gov-t-to-intervene-in-navy-overbilling-fca-suit

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