New York environmental firm pays $2.72 million to settle kickback, false claims allegations

by Ben Vernia | November 17th, 2014

On November 17, the Department of Justice announced that a Niagara Falls, New York – based environmental contractor had agreed to pay $2.72 million to resolve claims that the company – a prime cleanup contractor at a New Jersey superfund site – solicited and accepted kickbacks from subcontractors. According to DOJ’s press release:

Sevenson Environmental Services Inc., an environmental remediation firm based in Niagara Falls, New York, has agreed to pay more than $2.72 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act by accepting kickbacks, rigging bids and passing inflated charges to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in connection with work performed at the Federal Creosote Superfund Site in Manville, New Jersey, the Department of Justice announced today. Sevenson was the prime contractor responsible for the cleanup of the Federal Creosote Site, which was funded by the EPA.

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The settlement announced today resolves allegations that Sevenson solicited and accepted more than $1.6 million in kickbacks from six companies in exchange for the award of subcontracts for work at the Federal Creosote Site. It also resolves allegations that Sevenson conspired with the subcontractors to pass the majority of those kickbacks to the EPA and that it conspired with one subcontractor to pass to the EPA additional inflated charges for soil disposal.

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The case appears to have resulted from a government investigation, and not from a whistleblower.

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