Akal Security Inc., one of the largest contract security providers in the country, will pay the United States $18 million to resolve allegations that it violated the terms of its contract to provide trained civilian guards at eight U.S. Army bases, the Justice Department announced today. According to the settlement, some of the supplied security guards allegedly failed to satisfy weapons qualification requirements and receive other training, and the contractor allegedly failed to satisfy contractual man-hour requirements.
In September 2003, the U.S. Army awarded a series of contracts for security guards to the Espanola, N.M., company for bases in Kansas, Washington, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama. The company agreed at that time to provide fully trained personnel who were weapons qualified in accordance with military police firearms requirements.
In October 2004, three company employees, who worked as security guards at Ft. Riley, Kan., filed a qui tam or whistleblower suit against the company on behalf of the United States in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Under the qui tam statute, a private party, known as a “relator,” can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of the recovery. The relators in this case will receive a share of the settlement that has yet to be determined.
“Today’s settlement illustrates the Justice Department’s determination to recover paid out funds where terms of government contracts are not met,” said Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.
The settlement resolves Akal’s potential liability under the False Claims Act arising from the complaint. The litigation and settlement of the case was conducted by the Department’s Civil Division along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas, as well as the U. S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of Kentucky, the Eastern District of Kentucky, the Western District of Washington, the Western District of Texas, the Southern District of Georgia, the Northern District of Alabama, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. The case was investigated by the Department of Defense’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service Office of the Defense Inspector General, and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.