$6.4 Million Settlement Reached with Consulting Firm Accused of Over-billing on Government Contracts

by Andrew Murray | October 29th, 2019

On October 24, 2019, The Department of Justice announced its settlement with the engineering and consulting firm. The Press Release states:

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The U.S. Department of Justice and CH2M Hill have reached a $6.4 million settlement to resolve allegations that CH2M Hill overbilled the U.S. Air Force for environmental consulting work and then continued to overbill despite an audit highlighting the problem, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  At issue is the use of consulting staff who did not meet the minimum educational requirements of two Air Force contracts.

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According to the settlement agreement, in 2017, CH2M Hill headquartered in Englewood, Colorado and with offices in Bellevue, Washington, reported an overpayment from the Air Force and paid the government $10,529,707.  The sum represents $8,323,179 in overbilling and $2,206,528 in interest between 2003 and 2014.   In connection with that agreement, CH2M Hill admits that it billed under the government contract for employees who did not meet the educational and work experience qualifications in the contract. 

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The government contends that CH2M Hill knew of the overpayment as early as 2011, but attempted to keep the information secret by claiming that an audit of its labor practices was privileged information.  Under the law, the government is allowed to collect double damages, but due to statute of limitations constraints, that amount is capped at $6,400,000.

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