The Louis Berger Group Announces Settlement With U.S. Department of Justice
MORRISTOWN, NJ—The Louis Berger Group, a leading infrastructure engineering, planning, environmental science and economic development company, announced today that it reached a global settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice related to an investigation of its cost allocating methodologies in place until 2008 for overseas U.S. federal contracts, as well as the misconduct of former employees.
As part of the settlement, LBG will pay a total of $65 million to the U.S. government. The global settlement is composed of three separate agreements:
- A deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of New Jersey. Per the DPA, upon LBG’s successful completion of the terms of the agreement, after two years the U.S. Attorney’s Office will defer prosecution of a criminal charge and will seek dismissal of the charge. An independent monitor appointed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office will review and report on LBG’s compliance with the terms of the agreement.
- A related civil settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and the relator of a whistleblower lawsuit. In accordance with the agreement, LBG accepts responsibility for the actions of former employees who violated the U.S. False Claims Act.
- An Administrative Agreement with LBG’s lead federal agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development. It is a comprehensive agreement based on the facts presented in the DPA and CSA, in which USAID states that the company’s corrective and remedial actions, financial restitution and corporate improvement program provide assurance that LBG’s future dealings with the government will be conducted responsibly.
In 2006, prior to the company’s knowledge of the U.S. government’s investigation, LBG initiated its investigation into its accounting procedures. When the company identified issues with its allocations to the federal government for projects overseas, it began refunding the government in addition to implementing a companywide internal improvement program. In 2008, as a result of the investigation, LBG accelerated its reform program, to implement a series of improvements in policies, accounting procedures, internal controls, training and compliance oversight. In addition to hiring a new chief financial officer and controller, LBG has instituted a sweeping ethics and compliance training program for all of its employees, which will be monitored and updated by the company’s expanded compliance department. Additionally, individuals who were involved with this matter have been separated from the company.
“LBG is a stronger company today as a result of this settlement as well as the company’s corporate improvement program,” said Larry D. Walker, president of LBG. “The improvements made to our systems, policies and structures over the past four years have paved the way for a sustainable future and for the company’s continued leadership in providing the highest quality of services to our clients in an ethical, transparent and compliant manner.”
LBG takes this matter — and all compliance matters — seriously. Since first learning of the investigation, LBG has cooperated with the U.S. government and will continue to do so. LBG’s Administrative Agreement with USAID recognizes the company’s continued cooperation and commitment to best practices in ethics and accountability. All three of the agreements acknowledge that the company conducted its own investigation into the matters, reported its findings and took prompt and thorough reform measures.
About The Louis Berger Group, Inc.
The Louis Berger Group is an internationally recognized consulting firm that provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science, and economic development services. We bring strategic vision and an entrepreneurial spirit to a diverse client base, developing innovative solutions to the world’s most challenging problems.