Software giant CA Technologies Inc has agreed to settle a false claims act claim (whistleblower suit) brought by a former employee. The settlement requires the company to pay $8 million to the federal government and an additional $3 million to several states. CA Technologies is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest software companies in the world.
Former employee Ann Marie Shaw worked for CA Technologies (also known as CA, Inc.) as a technical sales rep. One of her accounts was the federal government.
According to her complaint, between 2001 and 2010, CA Technologies improperly billed the government for software licenses. She claimed that CA knowingly double-billed federal agencies by charging for periods of software maintenance for which the agencies had already paid. The government says that the company also prevented the Defense Department from taking advantage of pre-negotiated discounts and pre-paid software and instead steered DOD customers toward more costly purchases.
The case was filed under the federal False Claims Act, a law from the 1800’s that allows ordinary citizens to file a lawsuit in the name of the federal government. If the government later collects any money, the whistleblower who filed the complaint can receive up to 30% of what the government collects. (The ordinary award is 20%). On a settlement of $11 million, Ms. Shaw should receive more than $2 million for her efforts in coming forward and reporting the fraud.
This complaint was unique in that it also involved claims on behalf of 8 states and the District of Columbia. Many states have enacted similar whistleblower laws, although several states limit claims to healthcare fraud only.
In what has become a common theme, Ms. Shaw says she first tried to bring the billing problems to the attention of company higher ups. Only when her concerns about billing fraud were ignored did Shaw seek to become a whistleblower. According to a report published in the Corporate Crime Reporter, Ms Shaw said, “Throughout my career in the software industry, I’ve always treated my customers with integrity and respect. When I was working for CA, I was appalled to learn what CA was doing. I alerted my CA managers to the situation, hoping that CA would stop these practices. My concerns merely fell on deaf ears. What happened at CA deeply disappointed me…”
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch was a bit more blunt in her public remarks. She said, “The United States is not a deep pocket of taxpayer dollars to be exploited by private industry. We expect those who conduct business with the United States to honor their obligations accurately and honestly. We will continue to vigorously enforce the False Claims Act for the protection of taxpayers and the United States government.”
Although the company paid $11 million to settle the charges, the government reports that they continue to deny any wrongdoing.
Whistleblowers are the most effective weapon in the government’s battle against fraud. To become a whistleblower under the federal and most state false claims acts, one must have original source information about a fraud involving tax dollars or a government program. Generally, it is only the first person who reports that collects a reward. To qualify, the whistleblower must submit a summary of their knowledge to the government and file a lawsuit in court. Those lawsuits are “sealed” meaning they are kept secret until the government has the chance to investigate.
If you think you qualify, give us a call. Our whistleblower lawyers have represented people across the United States stop fraud and collect the maximum possible award. Currently we represent the whistleblower in the largest pending false claims act case against a bank or lender anywhere in the U.S.; HUD’s $2.4 billion complaint against Allied Home Mortgage.
Obviously not all cases have losses in the billions of dollars but the US government is very interested in pursuing all varieties of fraud. For more information about the false claims act and to learn if you may have a whistleblower claim, contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (414) 704-6731 (direct). All inquiries are kept in strict confidence.
Post by Brian Mahany, Esq.
Photo by Dave Winer –