Lawsuit Claims Government Contractors Defrauded NASA
A Florida lawsuit accuses NASA vendors URS Federal Services, Inc., and its subcontractor Yang Enterprises, of submitting false claims to the agency. The companies are alleged to have filed over a thousand claims for undocumented and unreasonable replacement of vehicle tires, at a cost of almost $400,000. The two companies contracted to manage NASA’s fleet of vehicles at the Kennedy Space Center.
The suit was brought pursuant to the federal False Claims Act, which imposes liability on persons and companies (usually federal contractors) that commit acts of fraud against governmental programs. It is the federal government’s primary legal avenue for combating fraud. The Act imposes liability when a person or entity improperly receives from or avoids payment to the Federal government. Contractors who defraud the government can be held responsible for treble damages and civil penalties for knowingly causing the submission of false or fraudulent claims of payment.
The two companies allegedly received more than one billion dollars in federal contracts
In one instance, the prosecutors allege, the defendants ordered six tire replacements for one vehicle, and that some of the tires had less than 5,000 miles of use.