Public Affairs (202) 254-4100adrian.edwards Fri, 03/05/2021 - 12:48
For Immediate ReleaseFriday, February 19, 2021 Download PDF (127.37 KB)
Virginia-based Information Innovators Inc. (Triple-I) has agreed to pay the United States $6.05 million to resolve allegations that a predecessor company, Creative Computing Solutions Inc. (CCSi), violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for work performed by CCSi employees who lacked required job qualifications.
Triple-I, which provides IT services and solutions to federal agencies, acquired Maryland-based CCSi in 2015. CCSi formerly provided IT services to DHS pursuant to an Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions Contract (EAGLE Contract). The settlement resolves allegations that, from October 2007 to April 2014, CCSi knowingly submitted claims for payment to DHS for work performed by CCSi employees who lacked required job qualifications. CCSi allegedly violated the terms of the EAGLE Contract by using under-qualified personnel who were billed to DHS at higher rates reserved for more qualified employees.
“Contractors that knowingly overcharge the government will be held accountable,” said Acting Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department will ensure that that those who do business with the government, and seek taxpayer funds, do so fairly and in accordance with their contractual commitments.”
“Defense contractors are required to bill for costs actually incurred, and to be truthful in the claims they submit to federal agencies,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner for the District of Maryland. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners are committed to protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring integrity and compliance with federal agency standards.”
“DHS OIG remains committed to protecting government programs, and American taxpayers who contribute to them,
from fraudsters,” said Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari. “Our agency, working closely with our law enforcement partners, will continue to root out these unlawful contracting fraud schemes.”
The settlement was a result of a joint investigation by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch (Fraud Section), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General’s Major Frauds and Corruption Unit. The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.
Press Release Number:
DHS Office of the Inspector General, www.oig.dhs.govFalse Claims Act Investigations
Public Affairs (202) 254-4100adrian.edwards Thu, 03/04/2021 - 12:39
For Immediate ReleaseThursday, January 14, 2021 Download PDF (82.82 KB)
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Jermica Jerri Dominick Brooks (37, Orlando) a/k/a “Jermica Jerri Dominick Sykes” to six years and nine months in federal prison for two separate wire fraud schemes and aggravated identity theft. The court also ordered Brooks to forfeit more than $25,000, which is traceable to benefits she had received as a result of the offenses.
Brooks had pleaded guilty on November 12, 2020.
According to court documents, following Hurricane Irma in 2017, Brooks used stolen identities to file five applications for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Brooks had obtained the personally identifiable information of certain victims during the course of her employment at a local plumbing business, where she worked as an office manager in or about 2016. Brooks obtained other stolen identities by purchasing the information through illicit channels. At sentencing, a victim informed the Court that she was unable to obtain FEMA assistance following Hurricane Irma because Brooks had already filed a fraudulent application in her name.
In a separate scheme, from January through May 2018, Brooks applied for and obtained 10 apartment leases in the names of identity theft victims. She used unauthorized or nonexistent financial account information to make it appear that her application and initial rent payments were legitimate, and feigned personal emergencies to secure occupancy in the leased apartments before those electronic payments were returned or rejected. Those leases resulted in a series of evictions in the names of Brooks’s victims. According to victims’ statements provided to the Court at sentencing, Brooks’s repeated use of their identities resulted in significant hardships surrounding their efforts to secure credit, housing, and car loans.
This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Office of the Inspector General, the Orlando Police Department, the Casselberry Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.
DHS Office of the Inspector General, www.oig.dhs.govCriminal Investigations
Public Affairs (202) 981-6000adrian.edwards Thu, 03/04/2021 - 10:54
For Immediate ReleaseThursday, March 4, 2021 Download PDF (172.07 KB)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) joins the Social Security Administration (SSA) OIG and other Federal agencies on March 4, 2021 for the 2nd Annual National “Slam the Scam” Day, to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams across the United States.
DHS OIG joins SSA OIG in warning all Americans to hang up on all government imposters, and asking them to spread the word to family and friends. These pervasive scams—in which callers pretend to be government employees to mislead victims into providing personal information or making payments—have become a scourge on the American public.
Most recently, scammers, posing as DHS officials, have used Facebook and Instagram accounts in an attempt to swindle money through Cash App and gift cards. The scammers may use one of the following forms of contact:
• Sending a direct message to a victim through Facebook or Instagram to solicit money;
• Posting on a victim’s Facebook timeline to advertise Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance, which includes contact information or a link; or
• Creating “highlights” on an Instagram account homepage, which advertise ways to make money.
In a direct message, the perpetrator indicates that if the victim sends money through Cash App, the victim will receive a substantial dividend in return, e.g., $10 for $1500, $200 for $5500, or $650 for $7000. Variations of the Facebook posts include offering COVID-19 relief assistance via Cash App by paying a grant-processing fee, requesting comments on a Facebook page and then directing the victim to purchase gifts cards to receive a dividend paid by FEMA, and soliciting contributions to fraudulent organizations such as “FEMA World Health.” The Instagram “highlights” connect to sites advertising FEMA assistance and provide instructions on how to send money to receive money in return.
DHS OIG reminds you this “Slam the Scam” Day that if you are contacted through social media, do not provide any personal information. DHS and FEMA will never contact you using Facebook or Instagram. FEMA does not request grant-processing fees for benefits and will not request that you contribute to causes or charities using gifts cards or CashApp payments. FEMA does not issue dividends. We encourage the public to report these scams to Facebook and Instagram.
DHS OIG takes these matters very seriously. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website www.oig.dhs.gov/hotline. By retaining information such as the CashApp account, the Facebook profile, Instagram handle, or email address you were contacted on, you may be able to provide valuable information that could assist DHS OIG to investigate the scam.
For more information regarding SSA OIG’s National “Slam the Scam” day activity you can visit SSA OIG.
DHS Office of the Inspector General, www.oig.dhs.govFEMA MGMT