PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has reportedly reached an agreement to pay about $41 million in civil penalties to settle claims that it over-billed the government for travel-related expenses.
The expected settlement with the U.S. Justice Department could be announced as early as this week, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.
The anticipated settlement in Los Angeles Federal District Court is said to involve bills paid directly by the Defense Department and other federal agencies that used PwC, as well as inflated bills passed on to the government by contractors working on federal projects.
The anticipated agreement with the DOJ follows a federal False Claims Act lawsuit that was filed under seal, which prompted an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office, the WSJ reported. PricewaterhouseCoopers isn't expected to admit any wrongdoing as part of the proposed agreement, according to the paper.
A spokesman for the Big Four firm told the Journal that, "We believe we will shortly reach a settlement."
PricewaterhouseCoopers previously paid $54.5 million to settle its share of a class-action lawsuit over travel-billing issues in another case filed in 2001 in state court in Texarkana, Ark., which accused the firm, and others, of over-billing clients by charging them the full face amount of travel costs, while receiving back-end rebates from vendors. All of the firms involved in that case discontinued accepting back-end rebates.
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