No loophole for Custer Battles

Apparently you can’t get away with stealing U.S. taxpayers’ money from the Coalition Provisional Authority by claiming that the CPA wasn’t a government agency.

Custer Battles, one of the crookeder of the Republican-linked crony-capitalist war-profiteering firms that have done so well out of the Iraq adventure, (and which has also been implicated in abuses directed at Iraqi civilians) was hoping that its fraudulent conduct would escape legal scrutiny on the claim that the Coalition Provisional Authority wasn’t an agency of the United States government, and that therefore fraud on the CPA wasn’t fraud on the government for the purposes of the False Claims Act. Apparently the Justice Department thought that defense had enough legal merit that DOJ backed off from “adopting” the whistleblower suit against the company under the qui tam procedures.

So far, the courts aren’t buying it.

The district court decision, if upheld, is good news both in general and because a trial on the merits might be extremely informative.

(It’s also old news, but I just learned about it from a helpful reader.)

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: