A federal judge in New York City on April 10 dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit against AECOM dating to 2016, claiming that the company filed false and fraudulent claims to the U.S. government under a maintenance and operations support contract valued at $1.9 billion with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
The whistleblower, identified as former finance supervisor Hassan Foreman, alleged that AECOM violated the contract through improper billing by inflating person-hours worked, improper purchasing and tracking of government equipment by ordering items twice, various travel violations and signing a “crony” contract with a payroll processing company.
The whistleblower was let go by AECOM shortly after filing complaints with the company, according to documents.
The government had investigated the issues before the whistleblower claim was filed, and it extended the contract multiple times between 2010 and 2018 and continued to pay AECOM, Judge Louis Stanton said.
The claim is dismissed because of the “underlying invalidity of the merits,” Stanton said, noting in his opinion, the government’s continued disregard of the complaints as being “insufficiently serious or consequential to justify either litigation or severance of the relationship.”
The judge also dismissed the retaliation claim by the whistleblower, but authorized the complaint to be refiled as amended for the fourth time.
Pat Conroy, a Dallas-based attorney for Foreman, declined comment on behalf of his client related to a possible appeal.