Gallup accused of overbilling government
WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The firm most closely associated with public opinion is now accused of violations of the federal False Claims Act in a whistleblower case.
The lawsuit, filed in the District of Columbia by former Gallup employee Michael Lindley, alleges that Gallup made false claims for payment under contracts with the U.S. Mint, the State Department and other federal agencies to provide polling services for various government programs.
According to the whistleblower's complaint, Gallup violated the False Claims Act by giving the government inflated estimates of the hours necessary to perform its services. The company allegedly had internal estimates that were lower.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it has joined in the case. The False Claims Act authorizes this intervention in these types of lawsuits and to take over primary responsibility for litigating it. The False Claim sAct allows for recovery of three times the government's losses, plus civil penalties.
The federal government also plans to assert additional claims related to Gallup's subcontract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.