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Engineering and Construction Firm Agrees to Pay $580,000 to Settle Civil Fraud Allegations in Connecticut

On February 23, 2016, URS Corporation AES (URS), agreed to pay $580,000 as part of a civil settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Hartford, CT, on behalf of the Department of Transportation and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). URS is an engineering, construction and technical services firm for public agencies and private sector companies around the world.

The Government alleged that it has certain civil claims against URS arising from alleged improper billing during the period January 2007 through the effective date of the agreement. In 2007, Amtrak awarded a contract to the Washington Group International, Inc. (WGI), an Ohio-based engineering firm, to provide construction management services for the replacement of the Niantic River rail bridge in Niantic, CT. WGI was subsequently acquired by URS, in 2008, and URS assumed responsibility for the contract. The Government contends that in most instances during the term of the contract, URS charged “firm fixed” labor rates, rather than the actual labor rates, for each employee position listed within the contract and, as a result, overbilled the United States.

The settlement agreement is made in compromise of disputed claims and the settlement agreement is neither an admission of wrongdoing or liability by URS, nor a concession by the United States that its contentions and claims are not well-founded. URS expressly denies the allegations.

DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation jointly with Amtrak OIG.