Monday, March 12, 2018
Beam Bros. Trucking Inc. (BBT), and its principals Gerald Beam and Garland Beam, have agreed to pay $1,025,000 to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that BBT overcharged the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on contracts to transport mail. BBT is a trucking company located in Mt. Crawford, Virginia.
“The Department of Justice takes seriously its role in protecting the federal procurement process from false claims,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “This settlement demonstrates that we will hold accountable federal contractors engaging in fraud, and will ensure that federal funds are protected from overcharges and abuse.”
“We are gratified to have contributed to this investigation and applaud the exceptional work by the investigative team for both protecting the contracting process and overall program costs,” said Special Agent in Charge Scott Pierce of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. “Along with our law enforcement partners, the USPS OIG will continue to aggressively investigate those who engage in activities designed to defraud the Postal Service.”
“Contractors working for the federal government are held to the same high ethical standards as full-time employees,” U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito said. “This settlement will return more than $1 million to the USPS.”
USPS contracts with trucking companies, including BBT, to transport mail throughout the United States. On some contracts, USPS had provided trucking contractors with credit cards, known as Voyager Cards, to pay for fuel. This settlement resolves allegations that BBT misused Voyager Cards to purchase fuel on contracts that did not allow for their use, resulting in inflated charges in violation of the False Claims Act.
The settlement resolves allegations made in lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act by Bobby Blizzard, a former BBT employee. The False Claims Act permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and obtain a portion of the government’s recovery. Mr. Blizzard’s share of the recovery has yet to be determined.
The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort between the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, and the USPS, Office of the Inspector General.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the District of New Jersey, is captioned United States ex rel. Doe v. Beam Bros. Trucking, Inc., Civil Action No. 10-657 (D.N.J.). The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.