In the intricate and highly regulated realm of government contracting, businesses often face numerous challenges. One misstep can lead to allegations, investigations, and even criminal charges. At our law firm, with locations in Washington DC and Denver, Colorado, we specialize in defending government contractors against allegations of bribery and bid-rigging.
Our unparalleled expertise in qui tam actions and defense in criminal cases, combined with a profound understanding of government contracting and procurement laws, positions us uniquely to represent and defend our clients effectively.
What is Bribery in Government Contracting?
Bribery in the context of government contracting refers to the act of offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting anything of value to influence the actions of an official in the discharge of their duties. This might encompass cash, gifts, favors, or promises. Bribery disrupts the level playing field essential for fair competition and hampers the government’s ability to secure the best services or products at the most competitive prices.
For companies involved in government contracting, even an unfounded allegation of bribery can tarnish reputations, disrupt operations, and result in severe financial penalties. It is, therefore, essential to understand the nuances of what constitutes bribery and how to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
What is Bid Rigging?
Bid rigging, another unlawful practice in the government contracting arena, happens when businesses conspire to “fix” the bidding process. The collusion might involve competitors agreeing on who will win a bid or even inflating bid amounts to ensure a specific outcome. This practice compromises the integrity of the competitive bidding process and denies government agencies the benefits of genuine competition, leading to inflated costs and often inferior services or products.
Given its potential to gravely harm the public interest, bid rigging is aggressively investigated and prosecuted. Companies found guilty may face substantial fines, exclusion from future government contracts, and criminal penalties.
Qui Tam Lawsuit Defense Lawyers & Defense in Criminal Cases
Qui tam actions, a key facet of the False Claims Act, allow private individuals (often whistleblowers) to sue on behalf of the government when they believe a party has submitted false claims for government funds. These lawsuits can result from allegations of bribery or bid rigging. If successful, the whistleblower might be entitled to a portion of the recovered funds, providing a strong incentive for individuals to come forward with their suspicions.
Our team of government contractor criminal defense lawyers is adept at navigating the intricacies of qui tam actions. We know how to scrutinize the evidence, challenge whistleblower allegations, and present a solid defense that safeguards our clients’ interests and reputations.
Our Edge in Government Investigations & Criminal Cases
Our deep-rooted experience in government contracting and procurement laws provides our clients with a distinct advantage. We understand the ins and outs of the contracting process, the motivations of various stakeholders, and the regulatory framework that governs this sphere.
When companies face government investigations or criminal cases related to bribery or bid-rigging, our comprehensive knowledge becomes their shield. Our defense lawyers employ proactive strategies, leveraging our understanding of the system to anticipate challenges, mitigate risks, and craft compelling defenses.
Attorney for Contractors Charged with a Crime – What is the Role of Government Contract Fraud Lawyers in Federal Criminal Cases?
Theodore P. Watson, Esquire. Practice Group Lead. At Watson & Associates, with law offices in Colorado and Washington, DC, our top rated federal criminal defense attorneys have experience actually working for federal government contracting agencies. We understand the nuts and bolts of how the investigation comes about and how the DOJ or even the SBA OIG develops a civil or criminal case against you. Read More.
A crucial aspect of our practice lies in the fact that many of our federal defense lawyers possess extensive experience as government contracting officials. We also understand how trial lawyers in federal agencies like the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office operate. Drawing on those valuable insights, our job is to deconstruct the government’s case and develop a legal defense that can create leverage in the event of litigation.
Wise D. Allen, Esquire , Counsel.is a former Veteran Lieutenant Commander Judge Advocate for the United States Military. He also has extensive knowledge and experience in resolving corporate defense and litigation in vast international and national legal issues.
He brings a wealth of successful experience to government contractors seeking defense counsel in the various areas of procurement fraud, Anti Corruption law, international contracting, False Claims Act defense and more.
Mr. Allen’s federal litigation experience as a former appellate attorney representing the United States and federal attorney for defendants in trials that led to his clients receiving overwhelming favorable outcomes in contested issues and obtaining non-contested resolutions. Read more..
Scott Lovelock , Esquire, joins our team as Of Counsel with a wealth of proven knowledge and experience helping clients address issues of risk assessment, mitigation and regulatory compliance as well as a savvy level of business and military experience that gives him a unique perspective to help government contractors defend against allegations of wrongdoing, succeed and to avoid most of the costly mistakes that are encountered when failing to understand and implement required compliance programs or understanding the nuances of working with government agencies.
A retired Air Force officer, with extensive operational experience in both the field , Numbered Commands, Air Force Headquarters and the Joint Staff, he brings a unique and focused perspective of DoD operations in how he serves our clients. In addition, he has been a Contractor Officer Representative, worked with major defense contractors on large weapon systems..Read more…
Why Choose Our Legal Services?
Facing allegations in the realm of government contracting can be daunting. The stakes are high, and the complexities are vast. However, with our specialized team of bribery defense attorneys and bid-rigging lawyers by your side, you stand a better chance.
We combine legal prowess with industry-specific knowledge, ensuring that our clients get the robust defense they deserve. We help companies navigate these tumultuous waters, ensuring that they can continue their vital work without being derailed by litigation or unfounded civil and criminal allegations.
In a realm where reputation, credibility, and precision matter, let our expertise be your guiding light. We’re more than just lawyers; we’re your partners in navigating the challenging landscape of government contracting.
Federal Antitrust Enforcement. – Sherman Act Lawyers
The Sherman Antitrust Act prohibits agreements among competitors to fix prices, rig bids, or engage in other anticompetitive activity. Criminal prosecution of Sherman Act violations is the responsibility of the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice.
Violation of the Sherman Act is a felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine for individuals and a fine of up to $100 million for corporations. In addition, collusion among competitors may also involve violations of the mail or wire fraud statute, the false statements statute, or other federal felony statutes, all of which the Antitrust Division prosecutes.
In addition to receiving a criminal sentence, a corporation or individual convicted of a Sherman Act violation may be ordered to make restitution to the victims for all overcharges. Victims of bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies also may seek civil recovery of up to three times the amount of damages suffered.
Tips When Defending Sherman Act Criminal Antitrust Violations
Most criminal antitrust prosecutions involve government contractor price-fixing, bid-rigging, or market division or allocation schemes. Each of these forms of collusion may be prosecuted criminally by the DOJ if they occurred, at least in part, within the past five years.
- The DOJ does not have to show that the conspirators entered into a formal written or express agreement.
- Price fixing, bid rigging, and other collusive agreements can be established either by direct evidence, such as the testimony of a participant, or by circumstantial evidence, such as suspicious bid patterns, travel and expense reports, telephone records, and business diary entries.
- Price-fixing and bid-rigging schemes are per se violations of the Sherman Act. In other words, where such a collusive scheme has been established by federal prosecutors, it cannot be justified under the law, for example, by arguments or evidence that the agreed-upon prices were reasonable, that the agreement was necessary to prevent or eliminate price-cutting or ruinous competition, or that the conspirators were merely trying to make sure that each got a fair share of the market.
Contact our Government Contractor Sherman Act Defense Attorneys for Immediate Help. Call us at 1.866.601.5518.
What are Penalties for Bid Rigging?
Bid rigging can be punished in a variety of ways. Depending on the jurisdiction, violators may face fines, jail time, or both. The most common penalties for bid rigging include large financial settlements and criminal charges. Violations of antitrust laws can also result in punitive damages that greatly exceed what the defendant would have paid had they not engaged in anticompetitive behavior.
What are Penalties for Bribery in Government Contracting?
Bribery in government contracting can also have serious consequences. Depending on the jurisdiction, violators may face criminal prosecution with fines of up to $1 million and/or jail time of up to 10 years. In addition, the company or individual may be forced to pay back any money associated with the bribery scheme. Further, companies that are found guilty of bribery may suffer reputational damage, which could lead to the loss of business or contracts.
Finally, if you are being investigated or charged with bid-rigging or bribery in a government contracts case, it is important to note that there are laws in place to protect whistleblowers from retaliation for reporting bribery or other instances of fraud in government contracting. Depending on the jurisdiction, those who report bribery may be eligible for rewards and even protection against criminal prosecution.
Call us Today
For immediate help in a bribery or bid-rigging case in government contracting cases, call us for a FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at 1.866.601.5518 or contact us online.