Lumber Salesman Who Overbilled Government Agencies Gets Prison Time


A former salesman for a lumber and hardware distributor in Linden will serve a year in prison after a court determined he defrauded customers, and after the salesman admitted to lying to a federal grand jury, according to a recent news article at

The salesman gave “gifts” such as iPads, a laptop, and patio furniture to customers of the lumber company – but then added the cost of each “gift” to the customer’s bill. Customers who were overbilled in this manner included Amtrak, the city of Elizabeth, and the Plainfield board of education.

A partial owner of the lumber company has already pleaded guilty to creating the scheme. He received a sentence of four years in prison and was ordered to repay $708,386.

Government agencies have faced attempts to defraud them since before the Constitution was ratified, and these state and federal agencies still fight potential fraud today. One way the laws work to fight fraud is by allowing those who “blow the whistle” on suspected fraud to share in part of any financial reward.

A case in which a whistleblower files a False Claims Act claim on behalf of a government agency is known as a “qui tam” case. Because the federal agency is closely involved in the case, a number of specific rules govern qui tam cases. Working with an experienced qui tam and false claims lawyer is essential in order to maximize the chances that the claim will succeed.

The attorneys at Begelman & Orlow can help. Our offices are located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but we work on qui tam cases anywhere in the United States. We have the knowledge and experience to build a convincing case while protecting the rights of the whistleblower who stood up to report the fraud. To learn more, contact our office today by calling our toll-free number: 866-627-7052 or by filling out our convenient online contact form.


The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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