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Pennsylvania Firm Agrees to Pay $ 330,000 to Settle False Claims Involving a Delaware DOT Contract

On May 18, Pennoni Associates, Inc., a consulting engineering firm located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, entered into a settlement agreement with the United States and agreed to pay $330,000 to settle civil false claims involving agreements with the Delaware Department of Transportation for bridge and overhead structures materials testing and inspection services. Pennoni received payments of approximately $975,760 under these federally–funded Delaware DOT agreements. The settlement agreement covers government claims that during the period January 1, 1998 through and including December 31, 2001, Pennoni billed the Government for inflated labor hours that were not worked, for travel hours not compensable under the contracts, for inspectors’ mileage in excess of the amounts allowed under the contracts, for unallowable subsistence expenses and for lodging and subsistence expenses that lacked support. In addition to the settlement agreement with the Department of Justice, Pennoni entered into an Administrative Settlement and Compliance Agreement with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). In the administrative settlement, Pennoni has agreed to undertake independent auditing and revisions of its corporate compliance program as required by the FHWA. In exchange, FHWA has agreed to not recommend suspension or debarment action. This investigation was initiated by a referral from Delaware DOT and was worked jointly with the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Delaware, and Delaware DOT.