Subject to Inquiry

Subject to Inquiry


Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

Jason M. Vespoli

Photo of Jason M. Vespoli Jason focuses his practice on federal and state procurement, government technology, bid protests and government contract disputes, and regulatory compliance. He utilizes experience in state government, government technology, and complex procurement to solve problems in innovative and efficient ways.

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U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies DOJ’s Authority to Dismiss Whistleblowers’ False Claims Act Suits, Questions Constitutionality of Qui Tam Provisions

Fraud, Deception and False Claims
The U.S. Supreme Court recently resolved a circuit split by holding that, in a False Claims Act action, (1) the government may seek dismissal of a qui tam case in which the government initially declined to intervene over the relator’s objection so long as it later intervened in the litigation, and (2) district courts should… Continue Reading

DHS Issues Final Rule Regulating Federal Contractors’ Handling of Controlled Unclassified Information

Fraud, Deception and False Claims
On June 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a long-anticipated cybersecurity final rule that revises an existing clause and adds two new clauses to the Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation related to contractors’ handling of controlled unclassified information. Read on for highlights from this rule, which goes into effect July 21 and is likely… Continue Reading

DOJ and Aerojet Settle for $9 Million in Qui Tam Cybersecurity False Claims Act Case

Fraud, Deception and False Claims, Government Contracts
On July 8, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $9 million settlement with federal government contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. for alleged violations of the False Claims Act in a case pending in the Eastern District of California. The settlement results from alleged false statements by Aerojet related to compliance with Department of Defense… Continue Reading

Largest-Ever Small-Business Contracting Fraud Settlement Related to Pass-Through Subcontracting

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Government Contracts
Federal contractors should take note of a $48.5 million False Claims Act settlement between the Department of Justice and TriMark USA LLC — the largest-ever FCA settlement based on allegations of small-business set-aside contracting fraud. DOJ alleged that TriMark had a plan to circumvent specific small-business contracting requirements by providing significant assistance to three small… Continue Reading

DOJ Settles First False Claims Act Enforcement Action Since Launch of Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative

Fraud, Deception and False Claims
On March 8, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a $930,000 settlement with Comprehensive Health Services, LLC (CHS) for alleged violations of the False Claims Act (FCA). This settlement marks DOJ’s first resolution of an FCA enforcement action involving cyber fraud after launching its Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative in October 2021, signaling DOJ’s eagerness to combat cybersecurity violations… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Amends “Buy American” Rules to Increase Domestic Content Requirements

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
On March 7, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council promulgated a final rule aimed at increasing federal government preferences for goods and construction materials that are domestically manufactured and increasing the required domestic content threshold for purchases governed by the Buy American Act. Read on for highlights from the rule and next steps for government contractors… Continue Reading

CMMC 2.0: Department of Defense Revamps Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Program

Government Contracts
On November 4, 2021, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced significant changes to the strategic direction of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program.  Specifically, DoD stated that the goal of these changes is to simplify the CMMC standard and prioritize the protection of certain types of controlled defense information.  After a nine-month internal review by the… Continue Reading

Department of Justice Announces Increased FCA Enforcement Through New Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Fraud, Deception and False Claims
On October 6, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new Civil Fraud Cyber Initiative to “combine the department’s expertise in civil fraud enforcement, government procurement and cybersecurity to combat new and emerging cyber threats to the security of sensitive information and critical systems.”… Continue Reading

President Biden Announces Findings of Critical Supply Chain Assessment

Government Contracts
On June 8, the White House released the findings of a 100-day assessment of critical supply chains, identifying actions needed to bolster domestic manufacturing of critical goods, reduce dependence on foreign nations for supply chain needs, create jobs and address unfair trade practices. For highlights of the report detailing structural weaknesses in supply chains for… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Orders Improvements to Cybersecurity and Federal Networks Amid Cyberattacks

Government Contracts
On May 12, President Biden signed an executive order mandating that the federal government significantly improve cybersecurity within its networks and modernize federal cyber defenses. This move follows a series of cyberattacks on private companies and federal government networks over the past year, including a recent incident that resulted in gasoline shortages along the U.S.… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Orders $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

Government Contracts
On April 27, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) requiring federal contractors performing service, construction or concession contracts to pay a $15 minimum wage to those employees who are working on such contracts. As noted in the White House Fact Sheet, this EO will build on Executive Order 13658 (signed in February 2014), under which the government… Continue Reading

NSCAI Recommends $40 Billion Investment in Artificial Intelligence, R&D and Innovation

Government Contracts
Congress stood-up the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) to make recommendations to the President and Congress “to advance the development of artificial intelligence [AI], machine learning, and associated technologies … to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.” The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Section 1051 further instructed the… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Clarify False Claims Act Falsity Standard

Fraud, Deception and False Claims, Government Contracts
The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to address a circuit split regarding the standard for establishing that a statement material to a claim for payment is false under the False Claims Act (FCA); specifically, whether the FCA requires pleading and proof of an “objectively false statement,” or whether liability can be based on allegedly false… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Orders Comprehensive Review of U.S. Supply Chain

Government Contracts
On Feb. 24, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order (EO) triggering a comprehensive review of U.S. supply chains, ordering agencies to identify ways to secure the American economy against shortages of critical and essential goods. As noted by the White House, this EO requires federal agencies to conduct a two-phase review of U.S. supply chains. First,… Continue Reading

The DFARS Rule on Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services Is Final

Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Government Contracts
The Department of Defense (DoD) issued a final rule on Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services that implements Section 1656 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (Pub. L. 115-91). To read more of our analysis, please click here.… Continue Reading

Biden Administration to Strengthen “Buy American” Rules

Government Contracts
On Jan. 25, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed an executive order aimed at strengthening “Buy American” rules to increase the federal government’s procurement of American-made goods. According to the White House, this order makes several significant changes to the implementation of the laws requiring federal government agencies to procure materials and products domestically. Click here to continue… Continue Reading

Ready or Not…Government Contractor Cybersecurity Requirements Roll Out This Month

Compliance, Government Contracts
The Department of Defense is rolling out new regulations over the next five years to set progressive steps toward mandatory cybersecurity certification for government contractors. The first set of requirements goes into effect Nov. 30. Click here to learn what contractors must do now to ensure they are eligible for award of new contracts, task… Continue Reading

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