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2 men blow whistle on inflated claims costing government

Whistleblowers are protected by law and in many cases, they can be awarded compensation for settlements arranged as a result of their reports. If you're fired for reporting fraud to the government, your job is actually protected; you should be able to make a claim against your company for wrongful termination.

In a May 5 report, it was stated that two people are now going to receive part of a $13 million settlement between two military freighters and the federal government, because the military freighters had submitted false and inflated claims.

According to the story, a 30-year-old man and 58-year-old man filed a complaint against the company using the federal False Claim Act. They alleged that the companies had billed the U.S. Department of Defense for air shipping despite shipping the items by truck.

Both men had worked for named companies to some degree, and the 30-year-old man had been fired during the investigation into the company's fraud. They reported the issue to the government, which now allows them to share in the collected penalties and reap the rewards. Initially, the allegations came about after the Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative, which was a $1.635 billion contract intended to reduce costs and to maximize the efficiency of shipping for the Department of Defense by using one company.

The companies allegedly raised the cost of the shipping arrangement by naming certain items as oversized when they weren't and by adding air fuel surcharges when items were actually delivered by truck. For instance, one shipment in 2012 cost the company $599.70 to ship, but the government was billed $4,217.40 in air shipment costs.

Source: The Davis Enterprise, "Whistleblowers share in $13 million False Claims Act settlement," Lauren Keene, May 05, 2016

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