Two separate whistleblower lawsuits have been filed against LB&B Associates, Inc., a North Carolina firm. It’s contended in these suits that the company lied to get into two Small Business Administration (SBA) programs to obtain lucrative government contracts. LB&B Associates describes itself on its website as a “diversified services company” doing unspecified work for government agencies, commercial entities, institutions and businesses. While the company presents itself as a woman-owned, minority business, the two lawsuits – one filed by former employees and the other by the federal government – claim that was not exactly the case. It is claimed that the company lied to get into two Small Business Administration programs for minority businesses. These cases are described as:
In the first case the Plaintiffs claim LB&B and its officers lied to get certified under the SBA’s Section 8(a) program, a business development program for small businesses owned by people who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
• It’s claimed that the same pattern of dishonesty occurred when the company applied to the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program, which allows a non-Section 8(a) company to form a joint venture with a Section 8(a)-eligible company. The program is designed to encourage an approved mentor, which is not a Section 8(a) concern, to provide managerial, financial, and technical assistance to improve a protégé’s ability to compete for government contracts.
• Each of the cases would be, among other things, violations of the federal False Claims Act.
On April 14, 2011, the federal government filed a notice of election to intervene in part, electing to intervene in the Plaintiffs’ claims only insofar as they relate to the LB&B defendants’ participation in the Section 8(a) program, but not the Mentor-Protégé program. The government filed its complaint in intervention on Aug. 19, 2011. Its complaint asserts two additional causes of action against LB&B: for common law negligent misrepresentation and fraud.
Source: Dan McCue
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