Recovery Amount: $15.5 million
In early 2009, the advertising agency Leo Burnett paid the federal government $15.5 million to settle qui tam, whistleblower-led claims that the company overcharged the government for work on a new advertising campaign, to replace the Army’s “Be All You Can Be” recruiting slogan and campaign. The whistleblowers were a former vice president and the former comptroller at Leo Burnett. They alleged that in an effort to circumvent a contractual cap on reimbursement for work performed in-house, Leo Burnett fraudulently passed off labor costs for the internet portion of the ad campaign as having been paid to independent contractors when, in fact, the work had been performed by the agency’s internal Internet unit. The case also involved allegations that Leo Burnett improperly inflated hourly rates in its billings.
If you have knowledge and solid evidence of fraud or false claims against the government, please contact our whistleblower lawyers. Consultations are free and confidential.