The varieties of fraud committed against the government seem limited only by the imagination of the people and companies willing to commit them. An exhaustive list could go on for pages. But here are some of the most common schemes used to defraud the government at taxpayers’ expense:
- Billing the government for goods or services never delivered or rendered.
- Paying bribes or kickbacks to obtain funding or contracts.
- Deliberately overcharging.
- Double billing.
- Knowingly billing for unallowable expenses.
- Fraudulently inflating charges or expenses.
- Bid rigging — or collusion to frustrate competitive bidding.
- Selling defective products or services.
- Knowingly failing to comply with contract specifications.
- Falsely certifying compliance with contract requirements or with state or federal law.
- Billing time or materials used for one project to another (“cross charging”).
- Making false statements to obtain, or to keep, a contract or grant.
- Inflating overhead costs or other expenses.
- Substituting inferior parts or products.
- Misrepresenting eligibility for Minority, Women or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs or set asides.
- Receiving rebates from subcontractors and not passing them on to the government.
- Billing for “ghost” payrollers.
- Receiving an overpayment from the government and improperly retaining rather than refunding it.
- Falsifying, forging, or altering statements or records in order to obtain payment or increase payments.
- Withholding royalty payments owed.
- Knowingly using the wrong billing codes to increase reimbursements or payments.
- “Bundling” or “unbundling” charges (billing one service as two, or two services as one) to increase payments or reimbursements.
- Submitting claims for benefits for phantom victims or for fictitious damages or injuries.
To learn more, check out our Qui Tam Law FAQ.