United States Claims Global Computer Enterprises Utilized Non-Cleared Employees on Sensitive Projects
The United States, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), claims that Global Computer Enterprises (GCE) and its president, Raed Muslimani, knowingly put non-cleared employees on projects and software service contracts, a violation of the False Claims Act. As such, Muslimani and GCE have agreed to a settlement for $9 million.
According to representatives for the United States, Muslimani and GCE provided the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with cloud software services for financial management. Later, GCE entered into software development contracts with the General Services Administration (GSA), the United States Secret Service, and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). According to the claims, Muslimani and GCE knowingly allowed engineers and other employees access to the files, even after they were specifically denied access to those files due to their immigration and citizenship statuses, overseas locations, and security clearance statuses.
Why Is This a Problem?
Many United States agencies regularly utilize information that is confidential for a purpose; the clearance levels assigned to such information prevent it from getting into the wrong hands and paving the way for terrorism and/or fraud. When the US Government hires companies to handle sensitive information, they expressly allow and/or deny certain individuals from handling this information due to its sensitivity. According to these civil claims, GCE, headed by Muslimani, allowed engineers and other employees access to sensitive information even though the contracts between the two specifically forbade it. As such, GCE’s actions indicate a breach of contract and an alleged violation of the civil False Claims Act.
What Is the Outcome?
GCE filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sept. 4, 2014. On Feb. 27 of this year, the United States filed a proof of claim to the Bankruptcy Court, which in turn approved the settlement (not a judgement) on Apr. 22. The FBI notes that there has been no determination of civil liability and the settlement is not an indication of such. The civil claims are allegations only. Government offices such as the FBI, the DOL, the EEOC, the USCG, and the Secret Service were all involved in the investigation of GCE and its president.
Although giving employees access to files during the software development process may not seem like a major offense, bear in mind that sensitive financial information is secret for a reason. If it falls into the wrong hands, the information could be used against the country as a whole.
If you are aware of a violation of the civil False Claims Act, contact a Whistleblower attorney as soon as possible. Bothwell Law Group helps whistleblowers across the entire United States.
(Our firm did not represent parties listed in the article above).