Whistleblower Seeks Release of Documents that
Demonstrated Contracting Fraud during the War in Iraq

Washington, D.C. July 28, 2014. Today, Mr. Harry Barko, a whistleblower who alleged that defense contractor KBR had engaged in widespread fraud during the War in Iraq, requested the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review a major court ruling that impacts the integrity of corporate compliance programs nation-wide.

In the case, In re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., et al, a three-judge panel of the Court ruled that corporations could keep internal corporate compliance records secret under the attorney-client privilege, even though the documents demonstrated widespread defense contracting fraud.  The documents in question contained direct evidence of bid-rigging, conflicts of interest, and overcharging the U.S. Government by KBR during the Iraq War.  
Continue Reading Full Court Review Requested in KBR Contracting Fraud Case

Washington, D.C.  June 27, 2014. Today the D.C. Circuit court issued a decision in the case of In re: Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., et al., finding certain reports produced during internal corporate investigations were covered under the attorney-client privilege even though the documents show employees believed there was contracting fraud taking place during the Iraq War.  The Court granted a “writ of mandamus” and reversed the lower court’s ruling that had ordered KBR’s internal review of the fraud allegations to be produced in a False Claims Act case.

The underlying case concerns a whistleblower complaint filed by a former KBR employee,  Mr. Harry Barko, on behalf of U.S. taxpayers seeking damages for KBR falsely charging the government for illegal contracting practices during the War in Iraq.  The documents in question concerned an in-house review of allegations raised by employees who observed improper contracting practices and reported fraud to KBR’s investigators.  The lower court, which had ordered the release of the documents, also ruled that these documents in question were “eye openers” and supported Mr. Barko’s claims that taxpayers were overcharged by KBR.

Mr. Stephen M. Kohn, one of Mr. Barko’s attorneys, issued the following statement:

Mr. Barko will file an appeal of this decision. The court incorrectly issued a writ of mandamus upholding KBR’s claim of privilege.  The documents at issue demonstrate illegal contracting practices and should not be kept secret from the public.  KBR obtained billions of dollars in government contracts to support the Iraq War effort.  The lower court, which reviewed the documents prior to issuing its decision, correctly held that these materials were not covered under the attorney client privilege.

We are confident that upon further appeal the position argued by KBR will be reversed.
Continue Reading Three Judge Panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Shields Evidence of KBR Contracting Fraud In Iraq War Under Attorney-Client Privilege