We all remember how Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita left the Gulf Coast devastated. As government agencies began to provide disaster relief with public dollars, dishonest contractors saw a huge opportunity for fraud against the government. Too many FEMA contracts have been the targets of dishonest contractors.
The “watchdogs” of the federal government agencies–the various Inspectors General of the many agencies involved in Katrina relief–have combined their efforts and sent hundreds of auditors to the Gulf region to examine fraud and mismanagement of Katrina contracts. The Inspectors General website on Hurricane Katrina fraud describes these efforts.
We learn more about Hurricane Katrina fraud each time we are contacted by a potential whistleblower client who has something new to report. Many whistleblowers have acted to help the government stop this fraud by filing qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act, which can provide the whistleblower a share of the government’s recovery of money damages and penalties, as well as attorney’s fees and expenses.