Whistleblower lawsuit leads to investigation of Louis Berger, former CEO's arrest

Whistleblower lawsuit filed by Phillips & Cohen LLP leads to investigation of Louis Berger, former CEO's arrest.

NEWARK, NJ, Oct. 20, 2011 -- The arrest and indictment of the former president and chief executive officer of Louis Berger Group Inc. stems from an investigation prompted by a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Phillips & Cohen LLP on behalf of a former Louis Berger employee who first notified the government that the company was cheating on government contracts.

The whistleblower, Harold Salomon, was a senior financial analyst/auditor for Louis Berger in New Jersey who provided the government with the initial information in 2006 that the company was manipulating its accounting system and overhead rate to steal money from government contracts intended to rebuild Afghanistan.

Louis Berger, an international engineering consulting company, paid the federal government $69.3 million in 2010 to settle the "qui tam" (whistleblower) lawsuit. It was the largest recovery in a fraud case involving war-zone contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The whistleblower case was filed under the False Claims Act, which allows private individuals to sue companies that are defrauding the government and recover funds on the government's behalf. Whistleblowers are entitled to 15 percent to 25 percent of the amount recovered as a result of the qui tam lawsuit if the government joins the case.

For more information about the Louis Berger case, see the Department of Justice press release about the arrest and indictment of Derish Wolff, former president and CEO of Louis Berger.

For more information about Phillips & Cohen's record, see P&C's Successful Whistleblower Cases.