A whistleblower lawsuit has revealed accusations that a leading security contractor defrauded the U.S. Army out of millions of dollars intended to combat terrorism.
Working as a subcontractor, DynCorp International was one of the companies that bilked $123 million from the Army from 2007 to 2013, according to an earlier investigation by the Department of Defense’s inspector general.
The funds came out of the government’s Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office (CNTPO), which hired military contractor Northrop Grumman to fight terrorism activities specifically linked to drug dealing, particularly in poppy-rich Afghanistan.
Northrop Grumman in turn hired DynCorp to help provide support for the CNTPO work. But both companies made some dubious claims when billing the Army.
For instance, some invoices billed the Army for employees working more than 24 hours a day and DynCorp also is said to have charged the Army for workers unqualified for the positions they were supposed to be filling. The earlier IG investigation showed the Army being billed for one employee working 1,208 hours over 12 days. That’s a lot of multi-tasking considering there are only 288 hours in 12 days.
According to the suit, “Instead of trying to achieve the lawful profits that were permitted under the Contract and Subcontract, DynCorp made its profits another way—by cheating. By hiring employees who did not qualify for one of the direct labor billing categories set forth on Attachment B, paying those employees wages that were well below the contractual rates in Attachment B, and billing for those employees’ work as though they met the job qualifications and performed the job duties associated with the direct labor categories in which the work were being billed, DynCorp could make an exorbitant, although illicit, profit.”
The lawsuit, brought by DynCorp employees Adele Hollis and Xavier Egan, claims DynCorp made $48 million in illegal profits as a result of the bogus claims.
The charges might make one wonder who’s running things at DynCorp. That’s a good question; their last CEO, S. Gordon Walsh, left the company earlier this month after three weeks on the job.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley
To Learn More:
DynCorp Sued for Overcharging Anti-Terrorism Program (by Neil Gordon, Project on Government Oversight)
DynCorp and Northrop Suckered Pentagon into Paying Employees more than 24 Hours a Day for Narco-Terrorism Programs (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)
United States v. DynCorp (U.S. District Court, Eastern Virginia) (pdf)
DynCorp, Northrop Overcharge for Anti-Terrorism Program (by Neil Gordon, Project on Government Oversight)
More than Two-Thirds of Afghanistan Reconstruction Money has Gone to One Company: DynCorp International (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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