Project Concern International, a Global Health Non-Profit Organization, Agrees to Pay $537,500 to Resolve False Claims Act Action | USAO-DC

            WASHINGTON – Job Problem Worldwide (PCI) has agreed to pay back the United States $537,500 to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted false promises to the United States Company for Intercontinental Enhancement (USAID), in PCI’s efficiency of grants to supply agricultural and other assist to creating nations.

            The announcement was manufactured today by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Unique Agent in Demand Mark Working day for the USAID Office of Inspector Standard (OIG).

            “This agreement demonstrates our resolve to keep accountable any firm that mishandles federal funds,” reported U.S. Legal professional Graves. “Organizations this sort of as PCI are entrusted to present essential humanitarian help to those in have to have, and the United States will guarantee that a violation of that belief will be investigated and prosecuted.”

            “This settlement demonstrates the implications for distributing untrue invoices to USAID for do the job not essentially performed,” said USAID OIG Specific Agent in Cost Working day. “Organizations obtaining USAID funds will have to build checks and controls in their accounting programs to assure that fraud schemes like this are detected and disrupted early on.  USAID OIG, via its world investigative pursuits, will proceed to operate with our associates at the Office of Justice to keep accountable individuals who, via corruption and fraud, compromise the functions of important U.S. foreign support packages.”    

            PCI is a world wide health non-income organization headquartered in San Diego, California, and operates a second workplace in Washington, D.C.  Based on information from a whistleblower, a critique of PCI internal communications and money documents by the U.S. Attorney’s Office environment and the USAID OIG for the period 2014 to 2016 decided that PCI was improperly shifting costs concerning projects, and in some cases using USAID grant money to address for privately-funded tasks. 

            Particularly, after grant funding for a person guidance venture was depleted, PCI supervisors would instruct its staff to invoice their time or other fees to individual and unrelated USAID grant jobs that experienced cash remaining in their accounts, even even though those people workers did not work on that venture.  PCI then certified to USAID that it employed the grant cash only as permitted under every task. 

            PCI by way of its authorized counsel, cooperated with the investigation and agreed to settle the make any difference prior to a resolve of legal responsibility in the civil circumstance.  Underneath the settlement arrangement, PCI agreed to reimburse USAID $215,000, the believed amount of money of mis-charged charges, and an added multiplier penalty under the Fake Statements Act of $322,500, for a complete of $537,500.  PCI also agreed to shell out the realistic attorney’s expenses incurred by the whistleblower.  

            The investigation in this issue was conducted by USAID OIG and Assistant U.S. Attorney Darrell Valdez of the U.S. Attorney’s Place of work for the District of Columbia. 

            The situation is captioned United States. ex rel. Seims v. Job Issue Global, Inc., No. 1-20-cv-0389 (D.D.C.)