BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — Charles River Laboratories International Inc. agreed to pay $1.8 million over False Claims Act violation allegations related to improper charges on National Institutes of Health (NIH) contracts, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
“Contractors are expected to deal fairly with federal agencies when receiving taxpayer funds,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that contractors spend taxpayer dollars appropriately and that those who do not are held accountable.”
According to the Justice Department's March 13 news release, Charles River works on contracts for the NIH. The company helps in development, maintenance and distribution of colonies of animals. Charles River purportedly billed NIH for labor and associated costs at facilities in North Carolina and New York for services that were never rendered, the complaint said.
“We expect companies that contract with HHS to provide the services as claimed and paid for by the taxpayers,” said the Department of Health and Human Services' chief counsel to the inspector general, Gregory Demske. “Charles River’s self-disclosure and resolution of this matter underscores the importance of contractors preventing, detecting, and remediating overcharges of labor costs to HHS. Under our contractor self-disclosure program, OIG is committed to working with HHS contractors that detect fraud issues to review, take any appropriate action and resolve these matters fairly.”