WMATA Pays $5.6 Million to Settle False Claims Act and Whistleblower Retaliation Suits

Washington, D.C. August 20, 2014. The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) has paid $5.6 million to the United States, the District of Columbia, and Shahiq Khwaja to resolve whistleblower claims brought by Mr. Khwaja under the federal and District of Columbia False Claims Acts, and under the anti-retaliation provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, among other laws.

Attorneys for Mr. Khwaja, David Colapinto of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP and Geoffrey H. Simpson of Webster & Fredrickson, PLLC, view the settlement as a vindication for Mr. Khwaja, who brought suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and filed an administrative complaint in the Department of Transportation in 2012. 

David Colapinto, one of Mr. Khawaja’s attorneys said: “In this case, Mr. Khwaja tried to correct False Claims Act violations at WMATA before they occurred to save the taxpayers money, but he was retaliated against and fired for blowing the whistle internally. The government would not have recovered these funds on behalf of the taxpayers without Mr. Khwaja stepping forward. This settlement demonstrates that the False Claims Act is the most effective whistleblower law by restoring money to taxpayers and by protecting employees who report False Claims Act violations.”

According to Geoffrey Simpson, another of Mr. Khwaja’s attorneys, “this settlement is testament to Mr. Khwaja’s courage. Mr. Khwaja spoke out while employed by WMATA and continued to blow the whistle internally even in the face of resistance and hostility from his superiors. Without his fortitude, these claims would never have come to light.”

Related Link: DOJ Press Release

For Information Contact-
David Colapinto (202) 342-6980
Geoffrey Simpson (202) 659-8510

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