Whistleblower and public health expert, La Rue Seims, alerted the government that PCI was mischarging time spent on government grants to fund private projects.
“I retained Richard Condit and Cleveland Lawrence from Mehri and Skalet when the company for which I worked was pressuring me to participate in fraud. I found trying to navigate this situation to be difficult and confusing. After considering various options, I decided to file a Qui Tam suit, which would be filed on behalf of the United States of America. Throughout my period of employment, I was kept protected and was able to gather evidence requested by the Department of Justice to stop the fraud. To me, this was very important as a non-profit should not be pressuring modestly-paid staff, including young people just starting their careers, to participate in illegal activity.
A Qui Tam suit was a new concept for me, but Richard and Cleveland were able to explain it clearly. I liked the concept of filing on behalf of the government, as they were the ones being defrauded. I discovered that Mehri and Skalet was one of the top Washington firms for protecting Whistleblower Rights. Both Richard and Cleveland had loads of experience working with officials in the Justice Department and were very knowledgeable of case law and weaving it into written complaints. Cleveland was especially eloquent and persuasive in his arguments. They both had a true passion for the work they were doing.
In the end, the Justice Department found the written evidence that we assembled, my legal representatives and I, to be clear evidence of fraud. They investigated and settled the complaint, effectively stopping the fraud from continuing and sending a clear message that this behavior has consequences. I received a relator’s share of the settlement, which I saw as compensation for having to work in a hostile environment and leaving my job early because of it. Throughout the process, Richard kept decisions about how we would proceed in my court. Cleveland gave me very detailed information on how the whole process would likely proceed, depending upon decisions I would make. They also gave me options for how I could publicize the settlement, at my discretion. Note that I call them Richard and Cleveland. They showed true understanding and compassion for what I needed as a client, being quite risk-adverse. Trust them. I did.”