by Ben Vernia | March 30th, 2017
On March 13, the Department of Justice announced that Charles River Laboratories, a National Institutes of Health contractor, had agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle civil allegations under the False Claims Act that it had mischarged costs to its NIH contract. According to DOJ’s press release:
Charles River Laboratories International Inc. has agreed to pay the U.S. government $1.8 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act by improperly charging for labor and other associated costs that were not actually provided on certain National Institutes of Health contracts, the Justice Department announced today. Charles River is a for-profit corporation headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts.
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Charles River holds contracts with National Institutes of Health (NIH) for services relating to the development, maintenance, and distribution of colonies of animals as well as the provision of laboratory animals to the NIH. Charles River billed to NIH labor and associated costs of employees at its Raleigh, North Carolina and Kingston, New York facilities despite the fact these individuals did not render the services as Charles River had claimed. Charles River disclosed the improper billing to the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.
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The Government’s press release did not refer to a whistleblower, so the case began as an agency investigation, presumably.