Monday, August 21, 2006
Judge tosses Verdict Against Iraq War Contractor on Technicality
A federal judge threw out a $10 million jury verdict against an American company accused of overcharging on an Iraq reconstruction contract after concluding that the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority was not a U.S. government entity. The civil fraud suit against Custer Battles LLC, which has offices in Northern Virginia, arose out of the chaotic 14-month period during which the authority governed Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
A former employee and a subcontractor of Custer Battles used the federal whistleblowers law to chage the company with creating phony Cayman Islands companies to overcharge the authority on a contract to furnish Iraq with a new currency. The firm denied the claim.
Although a jury found the company guilty, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III ruled on review that the firm could not be sued under the federal False Claims Act because of the ambiguous structure of the authority, which issued the contract. The judge also concluded that the way in which the company had been paid distanced it from the U.S. government.
Click the following link to read the full Washington Post story on the overturned false claims verdict.
Posted by Quitam Help Admin on 08/21 at 01:00 PM
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