Bekins Van Lines has agreed to settle charges it double billed
some moving expenses for about 200 military personnel, federal
prosecutors in Indianapolis announced.
Star reported that U.S. Attorney Susan W. Brooks said government
investigators found Bekins submitted 328 invoices containing
duplicate or even triplicate charges to the Defense Department's
finance center in Indianapolis, IN.
resulted in overpayments to Bekins of $1,093,356 between March
2000, about the time Bekins began submitting its invoices electronically,
and May 2001. Brooks said the overcharges resulted from poor
billing practices, not criminal intent.
Bekins' general counsel, told the paper the problem was a "glitch"
in the company's billing system. However, he said the finance
center's system should have identified previously paid charges.
Ogden said the company fixed the problem as soon as it was found
and, "we worked out an arrangement to pay the money back."
federal False Claims Act, government contractors are responsible
for ensuring the accuracy of their billings. Companies that
submit false claims are liable for up to three times the government's
loss, plus a civil penalty.