AECOM Again Stops Whistleblower’s Afghanistan Fraud Claims

By: 
Bloomberg Law
Published on:
August 14, 2020
SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

A false claims whistleblower lost his bid to revive a suit alleging that AECOM violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing the Army under a vehicle maintenance contract performed in Afghanistan, after a New York federal court said his proposed amended complaint doesn’t cure deficiencies.

Hassan Foreman’s claims that AECOM submitted inaccurate timesheets are the same as those alleged in a prior complaint that the court already dismissed as immaterial, Judge Louis L. Stanton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said Thursday.

Foreman’s amended complaint says it is plausible that the government continued to pay AECOM because services contracts in war zones are inherently difficult to replace.

That doesn’t change the fact that the government had actual knowledge of violations but repeatedly extended and competitively awarded the contract to AECOM based on previous experience, the court said.

Foreman filed his motion to alter judgment and permission to file a fourth amended complaint after the court dismissed the suit April 13.

The reasons for dismissal “reflect the underlying invalidity of the merits of the claims, such as the government’s continued disregard of defendants’ shortfalls as being insufficiently serious or consequential” to justify litigation or severing the relationship with AECOM, the court said in that decision.

Bragalone Conroy PC represented Foreman. Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP represented AECOM.

The case is United States ex rel. Foreman v. AECOM , S.D.N.Y., No. 16-cv-1960, 8/13/20.

Read this article at Bloomberg Law.

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