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News | May 21, 2019

2019 Public Service Award Winner

By DCAA Staff Writer

Investigative Support Auditor Krystina Durako received the 2019 Public Service Award for her assistance to the investigative team on the James River Air (JRA) Conditioning Company case. Krystina said of receiving the award, “I was excited! It is not too often in OIS that you are able to work on a case and see it come full circle and how your work directly impacted the results. To see that the case actually ended up with a settlement was exciting enough, but an award was the cherry on top!”

The James River Air Conditioning Company (JRA) performed services as a subcontractor on seven federal construction and renovation projects in central Virginia. It was alleged that JRA submitted certified payroll reports, falsely classified skilled workers as “laborors,” and falsely certified it had paid the required prevailing minimum wages and benefits. As a result, JRA allegedly knowingly made and used the false certified payroll reports in order to get false claims paid by the government in violation of the False Claims Act.

During the investigation, special agents interviewed former JRA employees; reviewed and analyzed payroll records; and compared records to bids, contracts, and invoices. In the final weeks of the investigation, the agents devoted large amounts of time to examining spreadsheets, identifying errors in the defendant’s analysis, and providing points of rebuttal and corrected computations in settlement negotiations.  DCAA’s Krystina Durako supported their analysis by carefully and accurately collecting, inputting, and making accessible the data from the certified payrolls and wage determinations.

Shortly after the government filed its complaint, JRA requested a settlement conference with the court.  Through this process, JRA agreed to pay $625,000, of which $312,830 represented underpaid wages and benefits to JRA’s employees.