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When I was the Procurement Fraud Remedies Director for the Air Force I wrote a number of articles about the need for contractors to engage early with the government when facing procurement fraud allegations.  My time back in private practice has caused me to “double down” on that sentiment.  We’ve defended a number of individuals and companies facing procurement fraud allegations over the last two years.  When we are engaged immediately, we are generally able to craft strategic outreach efforts for the multiple stakeholders in the various proceedings and address their needs proactively.  This has generally decreased the time clients spent “at risk” in these proceedings and kept defense costs down.  For clients who engage lawyers later in the process, counsel has to correct mistaken government impressions caused by months (or, sometimes, years) of investigation and inquiry and overcome the inertia of an investigation already well underway.  That, invariably, is a more time consuming and expensive task.

Obviously, every investigation and defense is different, and early engagement is not appropriate in every case.  But contractors and grant recipients should give meaningful consideration to the benefits of early engagement.

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We’ve just published our Summer 2015 compliance brief focused on the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces proposed rule and guidance from the Department of Labor. Please see http://www.shulmanrogers.com/media/publication/196_GovCon%20Compliance%20Brief%20Summer%202015%20Fair%20Pay%20and%20Safe%20Workplaces%20_2_.pdf and you will download a copy of our brief, 10 slide assessment of key terms and compliance tips.

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Interesting facts from the now-ended, long running bribery related case of John Sims:

1) the federal investigation began in 2009, showing just how long some of these investigations take.
2) Mr. Sims apparently was both a contractor and a civilian employee through critical periods of this investigation/prosecution
3) guilty plea was to 5 of the 34 counts in the indictment.

More details of the plea are here http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/07/14/retired-air-force-officer-pleads-guilty-to-bribery-theft.html The sentencing details were not as widely published, with many behind subscription firewalls. Thanks to Law360 for the news and subscribers can read more here: https://www.law360.com/aerospace/articles/597953/ex-air-force-officer-gets-3-years-for-5m-bribery-scheme

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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The FedBid story in yesterday’s Washington Post is fascinating: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/va-contracting-official-misused-her-position-to-help-company-ig-report-finds/2014/10/02/e903a1d2-47f8-11e4-891d-713f052086a0_story.html

Law360 covers an interesting Congressional/Executive branch split relating to whistleblower protections for federal employees: http://www.law360.com/governmentcontracts/articles/583761?nl_pk=a1c7e8b8-77a3-4368-85a3-90926e036c09&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=governmentcontracts

And a guilty plea in a long running case of mischarging and fraud at Shaw Air Force Base: http://www.wltx.com/story/news/crime/2014/10/01/men-plead-guilty-to-defrauding-shaw-air-force-base/16525957/

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…please allow me to take a moment to thank first responders, soldiers, and ordinary citizens who banded together in a time of immense need and tragedy many years ago today.  Perhaps it’s been “long enough,” but this is the first September 11 that I didn’t want up thinking “X years ago, something terrible happened.”  But that does not diminish the respect and appreciation for those who protect us and those Average Americans who worked together to protect each other.  Our world is dramatically changed in the years since, and our collective respect and appreciation for fellow Americans seems to be in question at times.  But for me, on this day, on this (small) blog and in my (hopefully large) heart, I am still shaken by the attacks and grateful for the goodwill shown by so many in the dark period that followed.

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Dean Jessica Tillipman and Professor Christopher Yukins of GW Law have posted an excellent series on a recent DC Metro case that covers many fascinating state and local procurement and grant fraud issues.  They are well worth the read:

Tillipman’s piece (read first):  http://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2014/8/27/dc-metro-opens-doors-to-procurement-fraud-and-retaliation.html

Yukins’ piece (read second):  http://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2014/8/28/so-much-to-learn-from-dc-metro-case.html