A security company that submitted false claims for its work guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, while company employees cavorted in brothels is paying $7.5 million to the United States to resolve claims under the False Claims Act, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday.
The settlement with Armor Group North America Inc. and its affiliates resolves U.S. claims that in 2007 and 2008 AGNA guards violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act by visiting brothels in Kabul, and that AGNA’s management knew about the guards’ activities.
“The settlement also resolves allegations that AGNA misrepresented the prior work experience of 38 third country national guards it had hired to guard the Embassy, and that AGNA failed to comply with certain Foreign Ownership, Control and Influence mitigation requirements on the embassy contract, and on a separate contract to provide guard services at a Naval Support Facility in Bahrain,” the DOJ said in its announcement.
James Gordon, a former director of operations with AGNA, will receive $1.35 million of the proceeds under the whistleblower lawsuit that he filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the DOJ said.
“These contracts are put in place to provide essential support to personnel who are serving in our missions overseas,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will actively pursue its legal remedies where contractors falsely claim taxpayer dollars for services that fall short of material requirements in their government contracts.”
“Americans deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely and consistent with our values,” said the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen Jr. “With this settlement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has now recovered more than $140 million in False Claims Act cases so far this year.”