El Paso Based ReadyOne Industries, Inc. Settles Qui Tam Case for $5 Million

On Monday, October 1, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that ReadyOne Industries, Inc. entered a settlement to pay $5 million to resolve a qui tam lawsuit alleging it knowingly submitted false certifications regarding the annual percentages of direct labor hours performed by people with severe disabilities to the federal agency the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled oversee the AbilityOne Program.  The AbilityOne Program creates employment opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the manufacture and delivery of products and services to the federal government.  The program uses the power of the federal government to buy approved products and services from participating, community based nonprofits agencies.  ReadyOne Industries, formerly National Center for Employment of the Disabled, participates in the AbilityOne Program.  In order to participate in this program, ReadyOne Industries must ensure and certify that seventy-five percent of all annual direct labor hours on its contracts are performed by employees who are blind or severely disabled.

ReadyOne Industries, headquartered in El Paso, Texas, is a manufacturer of apparel, boxes and other products.  The United States, in the qui tam lawsuit U.S. ex rel. Mike Ahumada v. National Center for Employment of the Disabled, et al., alleged that between 2000 and 2006 ReadyOne Industries employed a large number of non-disabled employees to work on contracts for the manufacture of its products and did not appropriately account for these employees’ hours as part of the overall ratios it certified and submitted to the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

The claims settled are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

Posted in False Certifications, False Claims, Qui Tam, Settlements, Whistleblower LawsuitNo Comments

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