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Virginia law enforcement agencies have created a new task force to address the increased threats of fraud associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, the Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force is a joint federal and state initiative that will be led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin G. Cooke in the Eastern District of Virginia, Assistant U.S.

On Tuesday, the ABA’s Antitrust and Public Contract Law Sections held a panel discussion with DOJ and other government enforcers to provide an update regarding the PCSF’s most recent activities. According to Mark Grundvig, Assistant Chief of Washington Criminal II at the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division and Marcus Mills, Special Agent of Major

Crowell & Moring’s “Government Contracts Classroom” is a podcast that covers a wide range of topics relevant to government contractors and provides training and information designed to help you navigate the complexities of government contracting. In this inaugural episode, counsel Megan Wolf talks with partners Daniel Zelenko and Gail Zirkelbach about the DOJ’s new Procurement

On March 3rd, the Antitrust and Public Contract Law Sections are hosting a joint meeting to discuss the Department of Justice’s new Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from DOJ representatives as they provide their insights into the PCSF. The meeting will be held at the offices of

In Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S.Ct. 1989 (2016) (discussion by C&M attorneys here), the Supreme Court held that an implied false certification can be a basis for False Claims Act (FCA) liability, “at least where two conditions are satisfied:” (1) the claim makes specific representations about the goods or services provided and (2) the defendant’s failure to disclose noncompliance with material statutory, regulatory, or contractual requirements makes those representations misleading half-truths.  (Emphasis added).

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In this episode, hosts Mana Lombardo and Jason Crawford talk with Gail Zirkelbach, partner in the firm’s Government Contracts Group and vice-chair of the Investigations practice, about practical tips for managing internal False Claims Act Investigations. “Let’s Talk FCA” is Crowell & Moring’s podcast covering the latest developments with the False Claims Act.

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On March 1, the President announced his intention to impose tariffs of 25% on all imported steel and 10% on all imported aluminum. A more formal announcement of the tariffs is expected in the coming week and, while many might have been surprised by the timing of the President’s initial statement, it came after a 10-month process of investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce, culminating with its January 2018 recommendation for tariffs or quotas to protect U.S. producers. The Commerce Department reports are available here and here.

When finalized, these tariffs could have significant impacts on contractors across a range of industries, increasing costs of performance and restricting available supply. Domestic prices are expected to rise, and foreign suppliers may turn their focus to other markets. Supply disruptions are possible, particularly in the short term. To protect themselves, federal contractors who manufacture or use products with steel or aluminum should examine existing contracts, re-evaluate bids being developed, and consider revisions to standard contract terms.


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Although companies often conduct internal investigations in the normal course of business, recent developments suggest that companies need to reconsider certain aspects of how they structure their investigations to avoid potential new downfalls.  On May 4, 2017 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, Crowell & Moring attorneys Gail Zirkelbach, Steve Byers, Jacintha Alves and Judy

On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report highlighting necessary improvements to effectively implement the Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program (WPPP).  The WPPP, introduced in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, and made permanent by Congress in December 2016, expanded whistleblower rights against reprisal for employees of contractors, subcontractors, and grantees.  That same year, the FAR was also amended to require contracting officials to include a contract clause requiring contractors to communicate to their employees their rights under the WPPP in contracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold and awarded after September 30, 2013.  The WPPP also required agencies use best efforts to include the FAR clause in major contract modifications of existing contracts.

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On February 14, the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion in United States ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Cmty. Inc. addressing only the first of the two issues that the district court had certified for interlocutory appeal: (1) whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) possesses an unreviewable veto authority over proposed settlements and (2) whether statistical sampling, the analysis of data from a subset of the population of interest in order to make projections across the population of claims at issue, is an appropriate methodology for establishing liability and damages in False Claims Act (FCA) cases.
In its decision, the Fourth Circuit became the third circuit to affirm that the DOJ has absolute, unreviewable authority to veto settlements in qui tam cases where it has declined to intervene. However, notwithstanding that the name of the defendant corporation is derived from the Greek word for love, the Fourth Circuit’s decision (on Valentine’s Day) not to opine on the statistical sampling issue showed no love for those that hoped that the court would bring needed clarity on the permissibility of statistical sampling in FCA cases. Instead, as the authors predicted in a recent Law360 article, the Fourth Circuit dismissed the interlocutory appeal as “improvidently granted” because the panel viewed statistical sampling as an evidentiary issue, rather than a pure question of law.


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