PRIDE Industries agrees to pay $400,000 in false claims suit – 07/12/11
One of the nation’s largest employers of disabled people, PRIDE Industries, will pay $400,000 to the federal government to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims relating to a maintenance contract at the Fort Bliss Army Base in El Paso, Texas. The contract, which is part of the AbilityOne program, required that PRIDE ensure that 75% of all direct labor hours are performed by severely disabled employees. The Justice Department claims that PRIDE instead employed a large number of temporary, non-disabled workers as part of its maintenance staff, but did not count their hours in its overall ratio. A lawsuit by two whistleblowers under the False Claims Act was the catalyst of the government’s investigation.