The government spends millions of dollars contracting with firms to design, build, repair or manage bridges, highways and other infrastructure projects. However, some construction firms commit fraud against the government and violate the False Claims Act or similar statutes. Like other kinds of fraud, these firms might use defective components, unskilled employees or improper installation procedures. They may do no work for the fees received, overbill for their services, or obtain the contract through deceit or misrepresentation. Construction fraud can cost lives and millions in taxpayer dollars. Whistleblowers bring these dangerous violations to the attention of the federal government.
For example, in May 2016, Mountain States paid a $2.25 million settlement to the U.S. government for falsely claiming it sub-contracted work to a minority business in order to take advantage of a government program. The whistleblower was a former employee, and he filed the suit against Mountain States under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act. He received $500,000 as his share of the settlement.