ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (CN) - The U.S. government will intervene in a whistleblower suit against Kellogg Brown and Root that claims the Army contractor bilked American troops by submitting false claims, according to a recently unsealed order from an Illinois federal judge.
KBR provided support services to troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan under LogCAP III, the third generation of the U.S. Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, according to the Justice Department.
The U.S. Army has used private contractors since 1988 for logistical support, food service, transportation, laundry, recreation, and to build and run base camps. The Houston-based KBR received its first LogCAP contract in 1992.
Former KBR employee James A. Brady III sued the Houston-based company in 2007, claiming that KBR had violated the False Claims Act because it was unable to account for materials that were billed as part of an operations and maintenance subcontract with Turkish company Yukel-Reysas. Many of the filings in this case are under seal with the Central District of Illinois.
"As we've done today, the Justice Department will take action against those whom we believe charge the taxpayers for goods and services that were not provided to American troops," said Tony West, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil division.
The False Claims Act allows the government to recover three times its damages plus civil penalties. Qui tam provisions entitle Brady to as much as 25 percent of any funds recovered from the lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mimm gave the government 60 days to file its complaint.
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