WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Michigan-based U.S. construction company accused of submitting false claims for payment to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will pay a $2.481 million settlement, according to U.S. Department of Justice.
The department alleges Sorensen Gross Construction Company and its corporate vice president Khalil Saab violated a contract relating to the building of 16 schools in Aqaba, Jordan. According to the DOJ, Sorensen subcontracted nearly all of the work for the project, which was financed by the USAID, to a local Jordanian company when the contract stated. The law says Sorensen could not subcontract more than 50 percent of the work.
The Justice Department also alleges Saab falsely certified that Sorensen did the work when it was actually performed by another company and transferred USAID payments to the other company that performed the work.
“USAID OIG remains committed to helping protect U.S. government investments in overseas development projects,” USAID inspector general Ann Calvaresi Barr said in a statement. “Complying with project specifications is not enough if contracts are not awarded fairly and for a reasonable, competitive price. Arrangements hidden from USAID regarding actual subcontracting percentages disadvantage the U.S. taxpayer as well as project beneficiaries."