Fired for Reporting Defense Fraud, Man Says
WASHINGTON (CN) - A defense contractor fired the boss of its counterintelligence team eastern Afghanistan for reporting its contract fraud against the U.S. government, the man claims in court.
Cornelius Hosch sued BAE Systems Information Solutions in Federal Court.
He claims the weapons-maker canned him after he reported being harassed by his boss for trying to stop BAE from billing the government for work it did not do.
Hosch says he was BAE's head of counter-IED intelligence in eastern Afghanistan.
"BAE was hiring certain personnel to complete logistical and administrative tasks but BAE was using these personnel to bill the government for more lucrative labor," Hosch says in his complaint.
The complaint adds: "The administrative and logistical personnel were also not conducting the duties for which BAE billed the government.
"By falsely and purposefully miscategorizing the work performed, BAE charged the government for more work than was actually performed or which was contractually permitted."
He claims that the fraudulent billing preceded his time at BAE, and that he reported it to his boss in December 2011 and again in February 2012.
Hosch claims that his boss, Dan Weber, told him: "'You better not talk to me again about labor category fraud and time card fraud because I am using guys at my HQ to do my admin and help Mr. Tutt with ghostwriting of FRAGO's." (Undefined: apparently defense-speak for "fragmentary orders.")
Weber is not a party to the complaint.
Hosch, who served in the Army for nearly 20 years, says he took the job with BAE in December 2011. As regional manager for the counter-IED intelligence analytical teams, he says, he managed 194 employees in the battle space of eastern Afghanistan.
He claims that Weber, BAE's program manager for the counter-IED contract, created a hostile work environment after he reported the company's fraudulent billing to him.
"Weber also threatened Hosch by saying that if he 'kept it up' then he would 'end up like Tony,' an employee whose contract was not extended after the first year because Tony would 'question things' that did not 'look or sound right,'" Hosch says in the complaint.
Hosch claims that Weber began circumventing him by contacting his employees directly, and ultimately replaced him, to retaliate for his reporting the fraudulent billing.
Hosch says he reported Weber's behavior and the fraudulent billing practices to BAE's ethics department, and was fired after being placed on a performance improvement plan.
Hosch claims BAE retaliated against him, in violation of the False Claims Act.
He seeks compensatory damages and special damages for mental and emotional distress and harm to his reputation.
He is represented by Scott Oswald.