Government Contracting

Government contracting fraud is nothing new – in fact, it was the reason that President Abraham Lincoln and Congress enacted the federal False Claims Act during the Civil War in 1863. At that time, dishonest defense contractors were billing the Union Army for lame mules, defective boots, and gunpowder that had been diluted with saw dust. Since government resources were already strained by the war efforts and officials could not police the rampant fraud taking place on the battlefields, the False Claims Act was developed to allow private individuals to report such fraud.


The federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on goods and services each year. The majority of this money flows through the hands of the government’s vast force of contracting officers in locations around the world.

While government spending is certainly necessary and much of the government’s annual expenditures are legitimate, some unscrupulous contractors have chosen to cheat the government, and ultimately taxpayers, out of millions of dollars.


Sometimes government contracting fraud involves contractors simply submitting inflated invoices for payment or providing defective products, but the schemes can be much more sophisticated. For example, in some cases, the government receives good products or services and is billed properly, but the company selling the products was not entitled to have a contract with the government the first place. This frequently occurs when a company falsely represents itself as a “disadvantaged” business enterprise (such as minority-owned, woman-owned, or Service-Disabled Veteran-owned) in order to receive set-aside contracts that it would not have otherwise been qualified for.

With the expansion of federal spending, both on war efforts abroad and economic-recovery efforts here at home, there has been a resurgence of government contracting fraud. Examples of these include:


There are substantial awards available under the False Claims Act for whistleblowers that successfully alert the government to contracting fraud. For more information, contact the federal whistleblower lawyers at (248) 539-7420..