With offices in Washington DC and Denver, Colorado, Watson & Associates, LLC’s government procurement fraud lawyers and white collar criminal defense attorneys are geographically positioned to advocate for and defend federal contractors facing civil and criminal liability We have substantial experience helping small businesses and larger companies involved federal. procurement fraud investigations and white-collar criminal cases involving federal government contracts.
We represent corporate entities charged with violations of various statutes such as the False Claims Act, Buy American Act and Federal Acquisition Regulations. Our goal is to help clients reduce criminal and civil liability by avoiding some of the most costly mistakes seen.
When bringing criminal charges against federal contractor personnel or companies, our white-collar criminal defense attorneys and government fraud lawyers help you to avoid costly mistakes when defending cases involving complex federal procurement regulations.
Traditional white-collar criminal defense lawyers may not always have experience with federal contract laws and programs and the underlying substantive rules that federal prosecutors seek to bring criminal charges against you. As government contractor fraud lawyers, we have the experience to minimize the impact of fraud charges for businesses throughout the United States and overseas.
Types of Federal Government Procurement Fraud Investigation Cases
Purchasing fraud in government contracting creates a multitude of issues that you or your company may have to deal with. Our white-collar and defense contractor fraud criminal defense attorneys work with our clients to put forth an aggressive defense strategy. When bringing criminal charges against contractor employees or the company, we understand that developing a strong criminal defense early in a government contract fraud investigation is essential to how the rest of the case goes. Watson & Associates’ procurement fraud lawyers and contractor white collar crime defense lawyers defend against, or provide outside counsel services in the following types of purchasing fraud cases:
- Conflicts of Interest
- Bid rigging fraud
- Buy American Act cases
- Collusive bidding between bidders
- Purchasing fraud kickback schemes
- Defective goods
- Government construction fraud defense
- Government procurement fraud investigations
- Government contract fraud in small business programs
- Falsifying qualifications or contractor status
- Labor discharging
- Defective or counterfeit products
- Improper product substitution
- False claims Act, qui tam and invoices
- Change order schemes
- False statements and claims vendor fraud
- SBA 8(a)program fraud investigations
- Limitations on subcontracting and pass-through contracts
- SBA 8(a), SDVOSB fraud and HUBZone government contract fraud criminal cases
Government Contractor Fraud Attorneys & Contractor White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyers
When bringing criminal charges against federal contractors, there are many situations where federal prosecutors will try to pursue criminal charges against you or your company for False Claims Act violations. In recent years, IG offices and federal prosecutors are bringing many cases against individuals and companies for some aspect of contractor fraud. Some of the alleged procurement fraud schemes include conspiracy to defraud the government through false claims in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program (8a Certification); Historically Underutilized Business Zone or HUBZone Fraud; SBA Small Business Program Fraud; Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Fraud, limitations on subcontracting pass-through contracts and more. Having experienced government contractor fraud attorneys and white collar criminal defense lawyers that understand the applicable regulations and programs is critical to achieving a fair outcome for defendants.
What is Procurement Fraud?
Government procurement fraud occurs when contractors manipulate the purchasing process in order to be awarded contracts for goods and services, or to somehow gain an unfair advantage during the bidding, evaluation or award process. Federal law enforcement agencies and cracking down on companies who engage in this unlawful behavior. Not all allegations are true. However, companies should seek legal counsel from lawyers that understand the government contracting process.
What is Bid Rigging Fraud?
Whenever government contractors divide to team up and submit bids for the same procurement, this can undermine the bidding process. As a result, the FBI, DOJ and FTC can investigate and even criminally prosecute the companies for vendor fraud or bid rigging fraud. Examples of bid-rigging fraud can be when two or more competitors decide and agree on who will submit and who will win the award. Arguably, this can also lead to a criminal charge of conspiracy to defraud the government. Another example can occur when small businesses or large federal contractors decide who can be the low bidder. If that company wins, then the bid riggers can then split up performance and profits.
How to Respond to Federal Investigators?
When a federal investigator comes knocking on your door, more than likely you are the target of a fraud investigation. You have a duty to cooperate when there is a federal investigation. However, you also have constitutional rights and protections. Hire an attorney that understands federal contracting and that person can communicate with federal prosecutors.
Does an Investigation Mean that You Are Guilty of a Crime?
No. The federal government has a right to investigate allegations of procurement fraud. However, if you are named in an investigation, you want to tread carefully and seek legal assistance. Prosecutors and their investigators want to speak to any witness that may have relevant information. However, although an investigation does not automatically make you guilty of a crime, that can change when you discuss matters without an attorney present.
What is a Federal Indictment?
As a government contractor or employee, if you’ve been formally indicted, it means that the United States Government is formally accusing you of committing a crime involving a federal government contract. The crime is more than likely a felony and is serious business. A federal indictment is the first step in the legal process. The federal prosecutor must now prove to a grand jury that a crime was committed and that the contractor or you were the ones who committed the crime. Note that when a grand jury finds that there is enough evidence to go to trial, it does not mean that you are automatically guilty. However, this is the moment where you definitely must retain a criminal defense attorney that understands federal government contracting.
Government Contract Fraud and Federal White Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys
White-collar crime and federal government contractor fraud have now become a high priority for federal law enforcement agencies. This level of service provider or vendor fraud occurs when there is evidence to show that you or your company has developed a dishonest scheme to go after government funds or property. Whether you were actually paid or have been awarded a contract is irrelevant. Simple misrepresentation, depending on the facts, can be enough. These are areas in procurement fraud cases that our government contract fraud lawyers can help.
At Watson & Associates, federal white-collar criminal defense attorneys and government fraud lawyers help large businesses and small government contracting firms to defend against allegations of procurement fraud and other civil and criminal allegations.
Government Contractor Fraud Defense Lawyers
When either the Inspector General (IG), Department of Justice (DOJ) or some other federal law enforcement agency decides to pursue criminal charges against small businesses or other defense contractors, most companies will immediately hire a local criminal defense attorney. Later, the reality is that the attorney realizes that there is more to a federal government contracting fraud case than the typical allegations of conspiracy and criminal fraud. These are areas where our government contractor fraud defense lawyers can help.
Small Business Government Contract Fraud Lawyers
Government Procurement Fraud Defense Attorneys & False Claims Act Investigation Counsel: When federal law enforcement pursues criminal action against you for procurement fraud and violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, there is also a violation of the Federal False Claims Act. In SBA fraud cases involving small business certification which result in the award of government contracts, the government will then tack on criminal charges for vendor fraud because the invoices submitted for payment would (allegedly) be fraudulent and therefore subject to monetary penalties and treble damages under the False Claims Act. Watson’s government procurement fraud lawyers help small businesses and federal contracting firms to defend their rights.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES AND FRAUD AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT
Call Our Contractor Fraud White Collar Criminal Defense Firm, Government Contract Fraud Attorneys and Procurement Fraud Lawyers. at 1.866.601.5518 Toll-Free for a Confidential Free Initial Consultation