Boeing has agreed to pay $18 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly billed the government for employees on extended lunch hours and breaks. The whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act was originally filed by a former employee of the company. His relator share has not yet been determined.
The lawsuit related to a defense contract for maintenance and repair of U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft at a facility in Long Beach. The company was allowed to bill for labor charges on the contract. However, the lawsuit alleged that Boeing billed for time when the mechanics were not working on the contract and were instead on extended breaks or lunch.
This is not the first settlement of a False Claims Act case related to a defense contract by Boeing for this aircraft. Last year, the Justice Department settled a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by present and former Boeing employees regarding a facility in San Antonio, Texas. The company paid $23 million to resolve the allegations and the group of whistleblowers received just over $3.9 million.
The False Claims Act allows individuals to bring lawsuits on behalf of the U.S. Government to recover government funds. If successful, the relator is entitled to between 15 and 30 percent of the funds recovered.