British contractor APTx Vehicle Systems Limited has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States government, the Coalition Provisional Authority that governed Iraq from April 2003 to June 2004, the government of Iraq, and JP Morgan Chase Bank. Additionally, APTx has entered into a civil settlement agreement to resolve a related False Claims Act lawsuit and will pay $1 million in criminal fines.
According to the criminal information filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on December 10, 2012, APTx was charged with wire fraud conspiracy for engaging in a fraudulent scheme involving a contract from August 2004 for procuring fifty-one vehicles for the Iraqi Police Authority. The U.S. government alleges that the contract was awarded to a “prime” contractor who subcontracted the vehicle procurement to APTx for $5.7 million, paid by JP Morgan bank. In order to receive payment from JP Morgan, APTx allegedly submitted falsified shipping documents claiming that the fifty-one vehicles were completed and ready to be shipped to Iraq. However, APTx knew that none of the vehicles had been built or were legally owned by APTx. Furthermore, APTx listed a company as the freight carrier despite knowing that company was not a shipping company and named a fictitious company as the freight forwarder.
The Employment Law Group® law firm’s whistleblower attorneys have helped many clients file suit against employers that fraudulently bill the U.S. government, and have established favorable precedents under the retaliation provision of the False Claims Act.