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WilmerHale Victorious in $103 Million False Claims Act Verdict

May 16, 2007

In a rare and complex False Claims Act trial, WilmerHale, working with a trial team from the Department of Justice, won a jury verdict in favor of the US government and client Richard Miller against all defendants with a damages award of just over $103 million. This is the fourth largest US jury verdict in 2007. Following a week’s deliberation, the jury found the defendants liable under the False Claims Act for conspiring to rig bids for US government-funded construction projects in the Middle East.

The construction projects were born from the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords and were paid for by the US Agency for International Development. The verdict, over ten years in the making, follows a criminal trial in which one of the defendants was convicted and several others pled guilty to charges of rigging their bids for US AID-funded projects in violation of US antitrust laws. WilmerHale client Mr. Miller is a former executive of one of the construction companies who, after becoming aware of the companies’ conspiracy, alerted the government.

This case drew on WilmerHale’s strengths in the areas of both antitrust and False Claims Act litigation, in which we regularly defend companies suspected of violations, as well as those who are victims of unlawful conduct.

Members of WilmerHale’s Litigation Department and Antitrust and Competition Department who worked on this case include Robert Bell, Jonathan Cedarbaum, Robert Cultice, Jennifer O’Connor, Colin Rushing, Matthew Baumgartner, Ashley Baynham, Monya Bunch, Michael Gottlieb, Kevin Heffel, Allison Murphy, Gregory Reece and Stephen Smith.