Our government must assume the honesty of those who do business on behalf of the public. It takes tough enforcers to hold powerful government contractors to a high standard. In recent cases, Scott Bloch has demonstrated his commitment to police the efficiency and integrity of those who do business with the government. In addition to working on complex government contracts, he successfully defended the rights of a whistleblower who lost his position due to refusal to go along with violations of law and cover up of overbilling the government. He also successfully recovered pay for a government contractor overseas. He is currently in litigation on government contracts that were improperly canceled by persons who tried to get illegal kickbacks. Individuals can become private attorneys general by disclosing their company’s improper payments, claims for reimbursement, nonconforming parts, medical claims that are fraudulent or overstated. They can bring these claims under the False Claims Act under federal and state laws. Known as Lincoln’s law, the False Claims Act came into being during the Civil War to prevent war profiteering that was widespread, and takes from citizens their hard earned tax dollars.
He is representing dozens of individuals who have worked for government contractors overseas and been mistreated, denied pay and medical benefits required by law. He has recently filed a class action against Blackwater for mistreating their workers under government contracts by denying them benefits and misclassifying them as independent contractors to reap higher profits from government contracts while at the same time claiming them as employees under the same contracts. Read more here.
This is nothing new to Scott Bloch. While enforcing efficiency and preventing waste in government, he verified the claims of a whistleblower engineer in the Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, concerning the failure of pumps designed to prevent the recurrence of flooding of Katrina in New Orleans. Read about his work on that case in USA Today, here.
In order to keep contractors honest, it requires individuals to bravely report on improprieties, kick backs, fraudulent claims for Medicare or Medicaid, and improper conduct in the VA medical system or hospitals in the private sector. These individuals form a critical part of what makes our country function, that allows for citizens to be free and safe in their homes, jobs, businesses, and in transportation, water, air and other aspects of life. The Whistleblower is an American institution that must be protected. Individuals who bravely report wrongdoing, unsafe conditions, financial misdeeds, and other conditions that threaten the integrity of our country and social lives need our support and protection. These “ordinary heroes,” as Bloch as called them in FDR_Speech_San_Antonio_8-22, require a champion to back them when powerful politicians and rich companies come after them.
Private suits under the False Claims Act form an important part of the policing of integrity in corporate America from defense contractors to financial services corporations. Scott Bloch has long defended the rights of these brave individuals. He did so in private practice for many years before becoming the chief protector of whistleblowers nationally, and internationally, as the United States Special Counsel. Not only did he protect whistleblowers, but he brought to light the important and shocking conditions these public servants all over the world brought to light.
Dallas morning news reported how Scott Bloch took on the federal government’s cover up of near misses at Air Traffic Control facilities and fraudulent assignment of pilot errors to cover up FAA errors. Scott Bloch took on Southwest Airlines for fraudulent cover up of dangerous cracks in the fuselages of aircraft in passenger service, which was reported nationally in USA Today, The Washington Post, Tom Costello story on whistleblowers and grounding of Southwest flights, CNN, The New York Times,NPR, and The Today Show on NBC. Here is the Honorable Scott J. Bloch’s testimony before Congress explaining the dangerous avoidance by FAA and the airlines of their duty to report and fix violations of Airworthiness Directives.
In uncovering environmental safety, a recent opinion piece credited Bloch with making a difference in Federal Prisons in 2007 as well as today, due to heroic interventions on behalf of whistleblower Leroy Smith. This originally broke nationally onNational Public Radio in which Bloch and Smith explained the cover up and refusal of the Department of Justice to do anything about the dangerous emissions of chemicals.
In the arena of Financial Services fraud, Scott Bloch intervened on behalf of the government in the Pequot Financial Services insider trading whistleblower retaliation case. The case garnered significant publicity and hearings before the Senate, and recently the SEC concluded that Pequot was guilty of insider trading which resulted in an large settlement. The whistleblower whom Bloch backed after he came to Bloch as head of the Office of Special Counsel, recently settled his claims against the SEC for retaliating against him when he brought Pequod’s misdeeds to light, and complained that Pequod’s CEO was being given a pass for political reasons due to his association with the President of the United States.
In the arena of Public Integrity, Bloch became very well known and upset powerful people in the party that appointed him to the Senate-Confirmed Post for protecting whistleblowers. His work in upholding the law under the Hatch Act caused high ranking officials to have to leave office, including the head of a large federal agency that handles all government contracts and buildings, as well as a United States Attorney, and an Inspector General. In addition to revealing wrongdoing in government on National Public Radio, he also protected the whistleblowers (see US News Profile on Bloch May 2007) who brought these matters to the government’s and the public’s attention. Based on the report of whistleblowers, Scott Bloch set up a task force to look into the possible extensive use of the White House and agencies of government, and taxpayer resources, to engage in partisan electioneering in violation of the Hatch Act. He also obtained a special appropriation in order to do the extensive investigation and ultimate report he asked the task force to produce. That official report came out recently, finding misuse of government resources by the White House and administration officials to get candidates elected across the United States. Its release was simultaneous with the White House abolishing the Office of Political Affairs that had been in place for over thirty years. See Washington Times Bloch Editorial on Hatch Act Report on this momentous victory for public integrity.
He has dedicated himself to protecting whistleblowers in the private sector in recent government contracting problems in missile defense contracts, Iraq and Afghanistan, pharmaceutical company cover ups, and aviation false claims cases. He recently settled a case favorably for a high level employee of a defense contractor who brought to light irregularities in reporting and false claims investigations, and was forced to leave his position. He is currently involved in a government contracting dispute involving officials who were imprisoned for bribery and violations of anti-kickback laws.
Persons who are willing to come forward with information that is important to the public need an advocate who has been battle tested. Contact us for a free consultation.