DOJ reaches $7.4 million deal with Centerra over False Claims Act violation allegations

By Mark Iandolo | Feb 6, 2016

BEAUMONT, Texas (Legal Newsline) – The Department of Justice announced that Centerra Services International Inc. will pay $7.4 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act.

Centerra, a security services company headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was known as Wackenhut Services LLC at the time these allegations occurred. It allegedly double billed and inflated labor costs in connection with a firefighting and fire protection services contract in Iraq.

“Our military depends on the private sector – both prime contractors and subcontractors – to provide critical services to protect the health and safety of our men and women in uniform,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said. “Those subcontractors who knowingly inflate the costs of these services, which are passed onto the government and the taxpayer, will face appropriate consequences. Today’s settlement demonstrates our continuing vigilance to ensure that our servicemen and women obtain the services they need at the price we bargained for.”

The settlement resolves a lawsuit initially filed by whistle-blower Gary W. Reno under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Reno will receive $1.33 million of the recovery funds for his actions.

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