WASHINGTON — Wise Services Inc., a Dayton company, has agreed to pay $302,500 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by causing the submission of false and fraudulent invoices for non-existent materials to the Department of Energy (DOE) and paying improper kickbacks, the Department of Justice announced Friday.
The settlement amount was negotiated based on Wise’s lack of ability to pay.
Wise, an oil field support company at 1705 Guenther Road, specializing in Hydro-excavation, rig cleaning, water hauling and other trucking, was a subcontractor at the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the DOE Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina.
The United States accused Wise of knowingly submitting to the prime contractor — MOX Services LLC, formerly known as CB&I AREVA MOX Services LLC (MOX) — hundreds of invoices charging millions of dollars for materials that did not exist. MOX presented those false invoices to DOE. The United States also accused Wise employees of paying kickbacks to MOX employees involved in the scheme.
“The government expects both contractors and subcontractors to adhere to their contractual commitments,” Brian Boynton, principal deputy assistant attorney general, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said. “Those who violate their commitments and undermine the integrity of the government’s procurement process will face appropriate consequences.”
Adair Boroughs, U.S. attorney general for the District of South Carolina, said, “This settlement puts subcontractors on notice that they will be held accountable for submitting false invoices and paying kickbacks to contractors on federal contracts with the United States.
Teri Donaldson, DOE inspector general, said, “The lawsuit filed by Justice Department and this settlement will serve as a deterrent to others who seek to defraud the Department of Energy. We are always seeking out those who develop illegal schemes designed to harm the government and the American taxpayers and we will continue to do everything we can to detect and deter these fraudsters.”
The civil settlement includes the resolution of claims against Wise brought under the False Claims Act by the United States. MOX paid $10 million in a settlement with the government earlier this year for its participation in the scheme.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, the Justice Department said, noting there has been no determination of liability.
©2022 Cox Media Group