Qui Tam Settlement in VA Fraud Case
McCabe Rabin, P.A. proudly announces the settlement of U.S. ex rel. George Poncy v. Academy Medical, LLC, et al., Case No. 13-Cv-80856, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.
The firm filed the case in 2013 on behalf of whistleblower George Poncy, a former employee of Academy Medical, LLC, a company that sells medical supplies and does business with the Veteran’s Administration through its “set-aside” contract program.
A “set-aside” contract is a contract that the Government has reserved or set aside for a certain class of persons or businesses. The Government has created many such programs in order to help certain classes of persons or businesses by providing them with Government contract opportunities. As an example, a set-aside contract might be reserved for businesses owned by women, by minorities, by veterans, or by veterans with disabilities.
This case involved contracts that were set aside for service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses, also known as “SDVOSB’s.” Mr. Poncy alleged that Academy Medical, LLC, which did not have SDVOSB status, recruited a true SDVOSB to bid upon a set-aside contract and then act as a “pass through” for Academy Medical, LLC. A “pass-through” is a company that makes and wins a bid for a set-aside contract, but then fails to perform the tangible and substantive work of the contract, instead passing that work to another company, which was never eligible for the set-aside contract in the first place.
Under the terms of the settlement, Academy Medical, LLC, Edward D. Desser, and Daniel M. Shaw have agreed to pay $335,000 to the United States to resolve the case. As a whistleblower reward, Mr. Poncy will receive 20% of these funds, or $67,000.
Cases like this one play an important role in protecting the Government’s set-aside contract program. According to firm partner Ryon McCabe, “Set-aside contract fraud robs true service-disabled veterans of the opportunities that Congress intended them to have.”
McCabe thanks investigators at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Small Business Administration for their work on the case. He also thanks Assistant United States Attorney Adam Katz of the Northern District of New York for his tireless work on the case.
The False Claims Act authorizes private whistleblowers like George Poncy to bring lawsuits on behalf of the government to recover money lost due to fraud. McCabe Rabin, P.A. is proud to bring important cases like this one in order to recover funds that have been defrauded from the United States government.