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Red-Line-300x199 2Cause of Action, a Washington-based, independent, non-profit, public interest group, asked the Seventh Circuit today to revive its False Claims Act suit against the Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”) for allegedly overbilling the government up to $55 million for bus usage. From at least 2001 through 2010, CTA allegedly fraudulently billed and collected approximately $2.6 million to $5.5 million per year in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Urbanized Area Formula Program, paid through and administered by, the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”). In general, the program provides federal grant monies to fund the capital and operating expenses of transit programs in urbanized areas, such as Chicago. The program’s funds are disbursed using a grant formula that pays for vehicle revenue miles (“VRMs”). By charging “non-revenue” bus miles as “revenue” miles, CTA allegedly charged federal taxpayers for approximately 98.2% of its bus miles, while the nation’s eighteen other large bus operators charged for only approximately 83.5%. Continue reading

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AA049539The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced today that the United States filed a civil fraud complaint against Columbia University alleging that the university submitted false claims in connection with federal grants that it received to fund work done by its International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (“ICAP”). The complaint served as notice of the government’s election to intervene in a relator’s case that alleged that, Columbia University, as the grand administrator on behalf of ICAP, received millions of dollars in federal grants and, pursuant to the rules applicable to such grants, was required to use adequate procedures to verify that the employees had actually performed the work charged to a particular grant. The university, however, while allegedly aware that this verification was not being done, charged federal grants for work not devoted to the grant’s corresponding project. Continue reading