Engineering company settles claims of overcharges KCI Holdings must pay U.S. government $305,000

February 15, 1996|By Suzanne Wooton | Suzanne Wooton,SUN STAFF

A well-known Hunt Valley engineering and consulting company has agreed to pay the federal government $305,000 to settle civil claims that it overcharged four federal agencies for computer services it used in designing government construction projects.

The U.S. Department of Justice said yesterday the settlement involves overcharging by KCI Holdings Inc. and its affiliates, including KCI Technologies.

The allegation was brought to the attention of the Justice Department by a former KCI employee, William L. Wood, who will receive 15 percent of the settlement amount, or $45,750.

Under the False Claims Act, a private party can file an action on behalf of the federal government and receive part of the settlement.

According to the settlement, KCI overbilled contracts with the U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation and Agriculture and the General Services Administration, in addition to some federally funded state contracts.

"We just disagreed as to how these rates should be calculated," Jack Kinstlinger, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, said yesterday.

He noted that the settlement involved $180,000 in alleged overbillings over five years out of more than $100 million in federal contracts that KCI was awarded.

The remainder of the settlement was in penalties and interest, he said.

The claims involved computer services the firm used in designing office building renovations, highway construction and other transportation projects.

The settlement indicated that KCI worked on projects at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Maryland Procurement Office in Fort Meade, the Maryland Agricultural Center in Beltsville and the Social Security Administration Center in Baltimore.

The overbilling occurred between January 1990 and December 1994, according to the settlement agreement.

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