Military Fraud: Understanding Military Fraud And How It Affects You
Military fraud is nothing new. In fact, the False Claims Act, which is one of the most important federal laws focused on those who defraud government programs, is often referred to as the “Lincoln Law” because it was originally passed under the administration of President Abraham Lincoln in response to the tremendous amount of fraud perpetrated during the Civil War. In the last few years the Department of Defense has reported that hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud have been discovered and pursued in connection with government contracts, and dozens of contractors were suspended from doing any further business with the government as a result of their fraud-related activities.
Speaking to the impact of military fraud, U.S Senator Bernie Sanders said, “The ugly truth is that virtually all of the major defense contractors in this country for years have been engaged in systemic fraudulent behavior, while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money.”
Who does military fraud hurt? First of all, the American people, who are funding the Department of Defense and providing their hard-earned dollars in the belief that it will be well spent in the service and protection of this country. But beyond the dollars there is also the issue of the thousands of service men and women whose lives depend upon the integrity and quality of the equipment that they are using. Even if their weaponry, technology and armor are not impacted, the theft from the military means that less of the money that has been set aside for their expenses is actually available, and is instead lining the pockets of crooks.
The law that President Lincoln originally signed back in 1863 is still in full force today, with many additional strengths and protections added in. Those who are aware of fraud perpetrated against the government and the military are able to notify the government of these acts. Doing is known as being a whistleblower, and those who have the courage to come forward not only protect the safety of the military but also put themselves into a position of being compensated for their honesty and action.
Filing a report of military fraud under the False Claims Act entitles whistleblowers to both rewards and protections from reprisals. A whistleblower can file a complaint notifying the government of the fraud, and then either the government will act on the case or allow the whistleblower to do so on their own. In either case, if the fraud is punished, whether through a jury verdict or a settlement, the whistleblower is entitled to receive a portion of the amount of money that the government recovers.
Filing a whistleblower lawsuit regarding military fraud is not as simple as filling out a form on the Department of Defense website. It is essential that you have skilled and experienced attorneys acting as your legal advocates and providing you with the guidance and protections that you need. Bochetto & Lentz can offer you the benefits of our extensive knowledge and resources in filing a whistleblower case regarding military fraud. Contact us today to set up a convenient appointment.
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