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United States ex rel. Reed v. KeyPoint Government Solutions

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

April 30, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL., JULIE REED, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
KEYPOINT GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS, Defendant - Appellee.

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (D.C. No. 1:14-CV-00004-CMA-MJW)

          Richard E. Condit, Mehri & Skalet PLLC, Washington, District of Columbia (Steven A. Skalet and Brett D. Watson, Mehri & Skalet PLLC, Washington, District of Columbia, and John T. Harrington and Robert S. Oswald, The Employment Law Group, Washington, District of Columbia, with him on the briefs), for Plaintiff-Appellant.

          Robert C. Blume, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Denver, Colorado (Ryan T. Bergsieker and Allison Chapin, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Denver, Colorado, with him on the brief), for Defendant-Appellee.

          Before BRISCOE, SEYMOUR, and HOLMES, Circuit Judges.

          HOLMES, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         The False Claims Act (or the "Act") allows for the recovery of civil penalties and treble damages from anyone who defrauds the government by submitting fraudulent claims for payment. 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733. To enforce its provisions, the Act empowers individuals to file suits on behalf of the government alleging that a third party made a fraudulent claim for payment to the government. Id. § 3730(b)(1). These suits are known as "qui tam" suits, and the individual plaintiffs are called "relators." Recognizing the risks relators face as prospective whistleblowers, the Act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who try to stop violations of the Act. Id. § 3730(h).

         Julie Reed sued her former employer, KeyPoint Government Solutions, LLC ("KeyPoint"), for violating the False Claims Act. Her qui tam claims alleged that KeyPoint violated the Act by knowingly and fraudulently billing the government for work that was inadequately or improperly completed. Ms. Reed also claimed that KeyPoint fired her in retaliation for her efforts to stop KeyPoint's fraud.

         This case presents two overarching questions. First, did the district court err in granting summary judgment in KeyPoint's favor on Ms. Reed's qui tam claims? Second, did the district court err in dismissing Ms. Reed's retaliation claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6)?

         Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we hold that the district court erred in the first respect but not in the second. We therefore vacate the district court's order insofar as it granted summary judgment on Ms. Reed's qui tam claims and remand for further proceedings. We affirm the district court's order insofar as it dismissed Ms. Reed's retaliation claim.

         I

         This is a whistleblower case. The relevant background has three parts: (1) the statutory background, (2) the underlying (alleged) bad acts, and (3) the whistleblowing and ensuing procedural history. We recount each part below.

         A

         The False Claims Act "covers all fraudulent attempts to cause the government to pay out sums of money." United States ex rel. Conner v. Salina Reg'l Health Ctr., Inc., 543 F.3d 1211, 1217 (10th Cir. 2008) (quoting United States ex rel. Boothe v. Sun Healthcare Grp., Inc., 496 F.3d 1169, 1172 (10th Cir. 2007)). It does so by permitting the recovery of civil penalties and treble damages from anyone who "knowingly presents . . . a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval." 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(A). Liability also attaches to anyone who "knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim." Id. § 3729(a)(1)(B).

         The Act's proscriptions may be effectuated in two ways. "First, the Government itself may" sue "the alleged false claimant" to remedy the fraud. Vt. Agency of Nat. Res. v. United States ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765, 769 (2000). Second, "a private person (the relator) may bring a qui tam" suit on behalf of the government and also for herself alleging that a third party made fraudulent claims for payment to the government. Id. "As a bounty for identifying and prosecuting fraud," relators get to keep a portion "of any recovery they obtain." Boothe, 496 F.3d at 1172 (citing 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d)).

         But there are limits to a relator's right to bring a qui tam suit. One such limit is "known as the public disclosure bar." Id.; see State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, 580 U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 436, 440 (2016) (describing the public disclosure bar as a threshold relators must pass for their qui tam suits to proceed). That bar compels courts to dismiss qui tam claims "if substantially the same allegations . . . as alleged in the action or claim were publicly disclosed," unless the relator "is an original source of the information."[1] 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A). The public disclosure bar aims to strike "the golden mean between" encouraging "whistle-blowing insiders with genuinely valuable information" to come forward while discouraging "opportunistic plaintiffs who have no significant information to contribute of their own." United States ex rel. Fine v. Sandia Corp., 70 F.3d 568, 571 (10th Cir. 1995) (quoting United States ex rel. Springfield Terminal Ry. Co. v. Quinn, 14 F.3d 645, 649 (D.C. Cir. 1994)).

         And because insiders might be reluctant to use these qui tam provisions due to fear of employer backlash, the False Claims Act protects whistleblowers from employer retaliation. See Potts v. Ctr. for Excellence in Higher Educ., Inc., 908 F.3d 610, 613-14 (10th Cir. 2018) (discussing 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)). To qualify for whistleblower protection, an employee must engage in "protected activity." Armstrong v. Arcanum Grp., Inc., 897 F.3d 1283, 1286 (10th Cir. 2018). Until 2009, protected activity included only "lawful acts done by the employee . . . in furtherance of an action under this section [i.e., a qui tam suit]." 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h) (2008). But Congress amended the anti-retaliation provision in 2009 and 2010, and it now protects employees who take steps "in furtherance of" either a qui tam claim or "other efforts to stop 1 or more violations" of the Act. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(1). A whistleblower who prevails on her retaliation claim is entitled to reinstatement, double back pay, litigation costs, and attorneys' fees. Id. § 3730(h)(2). The events giving rise to this litigation took place against this statutory backdrop.

         B

         1

         KeyPoint is a private company that conducts background investigations for the federal government-specifically, the Office of Personnel Management ("OPM"). OPM uses KeyPoint to investigate prospective federal employees. The depth of KeyPoint's investigations varies according to the level of security clearance involved. Most investigations, though, entail running background checks, interviewing the subject of the investigation, gathering testimony from the subject's neighbors and coworkers, and then compiling the information in a report. Government agencies rely on these reports in making employment decisions and deciding whether to issue (or reject) security clearances.

         OPM's contract with KeyPoint rewards timeliness. If KeyPoint finishes its investigations on time, OPM pays KeyPoint a premium. But KeyPoint's pay decreases for each day an investigation runs past the deadline.

         The contract also includes safeguards to ensure that KeyPoint's investigations are complete and accurate. For example, KeyPoint must do thorough case reviews of each investigation and reinterview a percentage of all sources. Another safeguard is the Telephone Testimony Program ("TTP"); KeyPoint developed such a program at OPM's request, and OPM endorsed KeyPoint's program. Ordinarily, investigators must conduct in-person interviews. But they may do telephone interviews under some circumstances, so long as they keep their total number of telephone interviews below a certain percentage threshold. Under the TTP, each month OPM sends KeyPoint a list of investigators who exceeded their allotted number of telephone interviews during the last month. KeyPoint then must send OPM "corrective action report[s]" explaining each infraction and what it is doing to remedy the problem. Aplt.'s App. at 31, ¶ 54 (Second Am. Compl., filed Dec. 5, 2016). The contract and OPM's Investigator's Handbook, which the contract incorporates, spell out these and other quality-control measures.

         2

         Along with KeyPoint, the background-investigation industry has two other main players-U.S. Investigations Services ("USIS") and CACI International, Inc. ("CACI"). This insular industry has had its share of troubles. From 2008 to 2010, the government prosecuted several individual investigators, including a former KeyPoint employee, for rushing investigations and falsifying information in reports to OPM. And a 2010 report summarizing an OPM audit concluded that KeyPoint's and its competitors' "quality assurance process" needed improvement. Id. at 273 (Final Audit Report, dated June 22, 2010).

         The year 2013 was a particularly turbulent one for the industry. That year two federal government contractors-Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis-committed high-profile crimes after having received security clearances. These embarrassing episodes put the industry under intense scrutiny.

         With scrutiny came unflattering news reports. A June 2013 article reporting on allegations against USIS noted that the "concerns about background checks [were] not limited to USIS" and later named KeyPoint and CACI as USIS's "two main competitors." Id. at 159, 160 (Wash. Post Article, dated June 27, 2013). Another article that month reported that "a select group of private contractors conducting background checks for high-security jobs were not doing enough to ensure the quality of their investigations." Id. at 302 (Reuters Article, dated June 26, 2013). The article noted "problems with procedures and safeguards used by all three private contractors-USIS, KeyPoint . . . and CACI." Id. at 303. A slew of other news reports covered such allegations roiling the background-investigation industry.

         The allegations in the press worried Congress and OPM. Those worries led to several congressional hearings to probe the industry's alleged practice of using "false, incomplete, or rushed information gathering" in its background investigations. Id. at 411 & n.3 (Order, entered Sept. 28, 2017). And the bad press of its contractors prompted OPM to commission an audit of KeyPoint's and its competitors' practices. The audit concluded that "OPM need[ed] to strengthen its controls over its Contractors and the background investigation review process." Id. at 164 (Audit Report, dated June 4, 2014).[2]

         Exacerbating the industry's woes, a federal court unsealed a complaint against USIS in October 2013. See United States ex rel. Percival v. U.S. Investigations Servs., LLC, No. 2:11-cv-00527-WKW-WC (M.D. Ala. July 1, 2011) (complaint reproduced in Aplt.'s Reply Br., Addendum A). That complaint leveled three accusations against USIS: first, that USIS "failed to provide accurate and complete investigations prior to Cases being submitted to the government," Aplt.'s Reply Br., Addendum A, at 10; second, that USIS "knowingly submitted Cases to OPM for payment that [it] knew had not been reviewed," id. at 6; and third, that USIS exploited "the Blue Zone software . . . . to submit Cases to OPM under the false pretense that the Cases had been complete[d] and accurately and properly reviewed," id. at 12. This USIS suit and the government's intervention into it incited more press accounts of the industry's shoddy investigations.

         3

         Ms. Reed worked for KeyPoint during this turbulent period. As a Senior Quality Control Analyst, she reviewed investigators' work and documented incomplete investigations in monthly reports. Ms. Reed also ran KeyPoint's TTP by performing a "regular monthly audit of KeyPoint investigators who violated" the program. Aplt.'s App. at 34, ¶ 81. Along with her "regular duties," Ms. Reed "was occasionally tasked with extra audits of investigators," id. at 61, ¶ 165, or assigned "to determine the nature of . . . chronic infractions," id. at 84, ¶ 228. The precise scope of Ms. Reed's responsibilities as a Senior Quality Control Analyst and where she fell in the KeyPoint hierarchy, however, are not specified in the operative complaint.

         Nevertheless, that complaint does clearly aver that, in discharging her duties, Ms. Reed observed what she described as "KeyPoint's systemic violations" of its contract with OPM and persistent submission of fraudulent claims for payment to the government based on incomplete or improperly completed investigations. Id. at 29, ¶ 34. Ms. Reed's position allowed her to see investigators falsely reporting applicants' backgrounds as "clean" and omitting information showing otherwise, completing fewer than the required number of interviews, and generally cutting corners. Ms. Reed also believed that she witnessed rampant violations of the TTP and a scheme by KeyPoint management to hide the violations by submitting knowingly false corrective action reports to OPM.

         According to Ms. Reed, KeyPoint's management not only knew of the foregoing systemic violations but also encouraged them by pressuring investigators to rush investigations to maximize revenue. Alarmed by the abuses, Ms. Reed voiced her concerns within the company. Periodically, Ms. Reed and her staff uncovered and reported violations. Ms. Reed also "regularly reported [certain] infractions to her supervisor . . . by submitting and discussing a monthly spreadsheet." Id. at 62, ¶ 171. Along with these monthly reports, Ms. Reed repeatedly shared her concerns with her supervisor. She also discussed the problems with other individuals at KeyPoint, such as the Director of Training, the OPM Contract Director, Regional Managers, and certain Field Managers. But Ms. Reed's efforts to curb the violations failed. In fact, she alleges that the problems multiplied over time.

         Eventually, KeyPoint fired Ms. Reed in October 2013. About a month later, Ms. Reed and her counsel contacted the Department of Justice ("DOJ"). She told DOJ about the abuses she claimed to have witnessed while at KeyPoint. To back up her allegations, Ms. Reed provided a pre-disclosure statement and a presentation detailing KeyPoint's alleged violations.

         C

         At the government's urging, Ms. Reed sued KeyPoint in January 2014. Her operative complaint raised three qui tam claims and a retaliation claim.[3] The qui tam claims alleged that KeyPoint violated the False Claims Act by: (1) falsely certifying that it performed complete and accurate investigations, (2) falsely certifying that it did proper case reviews and quality-control checks, and (3) falsifying corrective action reports. Ms. Reed's retaliation claim alleged that KeyPoint fired her for trying to stop it from violating the False Claims Act.

         After the government declined to intervene in the case, KeyPoint moved to dismiss the suit. The district court then informed the parties that it intended to convert the portion of KeyPoint's motion concerning the qui tam claims into a summary-judgment motion; the court did not perform a similar conversion on KeyPoint's motion to dismiss the retaliation claim. At the court's invitation, Ms. Reed filed additional evidence to defend her qui tam claims from summary judgment.

         In September 2017, the district court entered judgment for KeyPoint on all counts. Regarding the qui tam claims, the court declined to consider some of the supplemental materials that Ms. Reed had proffered to oppose KeyPoint's summary-judgment motion. And, on the merits, the court determined that the allegations in Ms. Reed's qui tam claims were "substantially the same" as those that had been publicly disclosed in (1) the criminal investigations of individual investigators, (2) the unflattering news reports about the background-investigation industry, (3) the congressional hearings and OPM audits, and (4) the USIS suit. Id. at 411. And, because the court also concluded that Ms. Reed did not qualify as "an 'original source, '" it dismissed her qui tam claims under the public disclosure bar. Id. at 414. As for Ms. Reed's retaliation claim, the district court granted KeyPoint's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss after determining that she had inadequately pleaded that KeyPoint was on notice that she was engaging in protected activity.

         Ms. Reed now appeals from the district court's order entering judgment for KeyPoint. Her appeal presents two questions. First, did the district court err in granting KeyPoint summary judgment on the qui tam claims under the public disclosure bar? And second, did the district court err in granting KeyPoint's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the retaliation claim? For the reasons explicated below, we answer the first question in the affirmative and the second in the negative.

         II

         We start with the first question. The public disclosure bar compels courts to dismiss qui tam claims if (1) "substantially the same allegations . . . were publicly disclosed," unless (2) the relator is "an original source of the information." 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A). The district court thought the allegations in Ms. Reed's qui tam claims were substantially the same as those that had been publicly disclosed. And it further reasoned that Ms. Reed was not an original source of that information. Thus, the district court granted KeyPoint summary judgment on Ms. Reed's qui tam claims.

         We review that conclusion de novo and apply the same legal standard that the district court used. See United States ex rel. Smith v. Boeing Co., 825 F.3d 1138, 1145 (10th Cir. 2016). "Summary judgment is appropriate 'if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'" Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)). When, as here, the district court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment, "we accept as true the relator['s] evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in [her] favor." Id.

         Ms. Reed argues that the district court erred twice en route to dismissing her qui tam claims under the public disclosure bar.[4] Its first error, she says, was concluding that the allegations in her complaint were substantially the same as those aired in earlier public disclosures. Compounding that error, in her view, the district court then wrongly determined that she did not fall under the "original source" exception to the public disclosure bar.

         Put differently, the fate of Ms. Reed's qui tam claims hangs on two questions. First, are the allegations in those claims substantially the same as those in earlier public disclosures? And second, if so, is Ms. Reed an "original source" of the information in her claims? Our answer to the first question does not favor Ms. Reed, but our answer to the second one does.[5] Specifically, we hold that Ms. Reed's complaint averments are substantially the same as the allegations in the available public disclosures, but the district court erred in finding that Ms. Reed's averments do not materially add to those disclosures' allegations, such that she does not qualify as an original source. But this holding does not fully resolve the original-source question. Consequently, we vacate the district court's summary-judgment order and remand for further proceedings regarding whether Ms. Reed qualifies as an original source.

         A

         We agree with the district court that Ms. Reed's allegations undergirding her qui tam claims are "substantially the same" as the allegations in the public disclosures. We explain this conclusion in three steps. First, we discuss the applicable legal standard that guides our substantially-the-same inquiry. Second, we compare the allegations in Ms. Reed's qui tam claims with those in the public disclosures. And third, we close by concluding that the allegations in the qui tam claims are "substantially the same" as the publicly disclosed allegations.

         1

         Congress amended the False Claims Act in 2010. See Pub. L. No. 111-148, § 10104(j)(2), 124 Stat. 119, 901-02 ("2010 amendment"). Before that year, the provision setting out the public disclosure bar read: "No court shall have jurisdiction over an action under this section based upon the public disclosure of allegations or transactions . . . ." 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A) (2008) (emphasis added). The amended provision reads: "The court shall dismiss an action . . . if substantially the same allegations . . . as alleged in the action or claim were publicly disclosed." 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A) (2010) (emphasis added).

         Our court has yet to opine on the degree of similarity necessary to satisfy this new substantially-the-same standard. That said, even before 2010, our circuit read the unamended provision's "based upon" language to mean that the public disclosure bar applied when "the allegations in the complaint were substantially the same as allegations in the public disclosures." Fine, 70 F.3d at 572; see also Glaser v. Wound Care Consultants, Inc., 570 F.3d 907, 910 (7th Cir. 2009) (noting that "eight other circuits have read the phrase 'based upon'" to encompass allegations that are "substantially similar" to those publicly disclosed). That the substantially-the-same standard adopted in the 2010 amendment resembles the standard we already used is no accident; the amendment "expressly incorporates the 'substantially similar' standard in accordance with the interpretation of this circuit and most other circuits." Bellevue v. Universal Health Servs. of Hartgrove, Inc., 867 F.3d 712, 718 (7th Cir. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 1284 (2018). Thus, the 2010 amendment confirms the vitality of our pre-2010 standard.[6]

         In her reply brief, Ms. Reed argues for the first time that the 2010 amendment nullifies our earlier cases. See Aplt.'s Reply Br. at 8. In her view, the amendment "made clear" Congress's "desire to narrow the impact of the public disclosure bar." Id. Indeed, Ms. Reed believes that Congress acted specifically to jettison the reasoning used in our pre-2010 cases. And so she warns us not to rely on those earlier cases in our substantially-the-same inquiry.

         Ms. Reed's argument is too little too late. For starters, by waiting until her reply brief to argue that the 2010 amendment narrowed the public disclosure bar's sweep and undermined our earlier cases, Ms. Reed waived that argument. See, e.g., White v. Chafin, 862 F.3d 1065, 1067 (10th Cir. 2017) ("Mr. White waived this contention by waiting to present it for the first time in his reply brief."). Furthermore, were we to overlook this waiver, we nevertheless would decline Ms. Reed's invitation to discard our earlier precedent because of Congress's supposed "desire to narrow the impact of the public disclosure bar." Aplt.'s Reply Br. at 8.

         We ordinarily derive Congress's intent "from the text, not from extrinsic sources." Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts 56 (2012). The amended text says that the public disclosure bar applies when substantially the same allegations had been publicly disclosed; that is how our circuit (and most others) applied the public disclosure bar pre-amendment, see Fine, 70 F.3d at 572, and that is how we will continue to apply it until Congress or the Supreme Court tells us otherwise. In any event, Congress's supposed desire to narrow the public disclosure bar presumably would relate to only those circuits that had used a standard other than the substantially-the-same standard adopted in the 2010 amendment. See, e.g., United States ex rel. May v. Purdue Pharma L.P., 737 F.3d 908, 917 (4th Cir. 2013) (explaining that because the Fourth Circuit had not used the substantially-the-same standard, the 2010 amendment "changed the required connection between the plaintiff's claims and the qualifying public disclosure" in that circuit). But in this circuit-where we already used the substantially-the-same standard-the 2010 amendment "merely confirms our earlier understanding." United States ex rel. Winkelman v. CVS Caremark Corp., 827 F.3d 201, 208 n.4 (1st Cir. 2016). Thus, our pre-2010-amendment cases guide our substantially-the-same inquiry.

         Those cases teach that the operative question is whether the public disclosures were sufficient to set the government "on the trail of the alleged fraud without [the relator's] assistance."[7] Fine, 70 F.3d at 571. And we must recognize that the government's nose for fraud may be sensitive enough to pick up the scent even if the public disclosures did not "identify any specific compan[y]."[8] See In re Nat. Gas Royalties, 562 F.3d 1032, 1039, 1042 (10th Cir. 2009). The need to identify the defendant by name is particularly weak when "the government has already identified the problem and has an easily identifiable group of probable offenders."[9] Fine, 70 F.3d at 572. Similarly, "[a] relator need not have learned of the basis for the qui tam action from the public disclosure" to trigger the public disclosure bar. Kennard v. Comstock Res., Inc., 363 F.3d 1039, 1044 (10th Cir. 2004). Nor is "a complete identity of allegations, even as to time, place, and manner . . . required to implicate the public disclosure bar." Boothe, 496 F.3d at 1174. Rather, it is enough if "the essence of" the relator's allegations was "'derived from' a prior public disclosure." Id. In fact, the public disclosures need not allege any False Claims Act violations or even "any wrongdoing"; they need only disclose "the material elements of the fraudulent transaction."[10] Fine, 70 F.3d at 572.

         In summary, the public disclosure bar applies to qui tam claims "if substantially the same allegations . . . were publicly disclosed." 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A). Our pre-2010-amendment cases primarily guide our substantially-the-same inquiry. And those cases teach that the operative question is whether the public disclosures were sufficient to set the government "on the trail of the alleged fraud without [the relator's] assistance." Fine, 70 F.3d at 571.

         2

         Having settled on the proper standard governing the substantially-the-same inquiry, we now must compare Ms. Reed's allegations with those in the public disclosures.

         Ms. Reed's Allegations.

         At a high level of generality, Ms. Reed's qui tam claims allege that KeyPoint "was engaging in systemic fraud." Aplt.'s Opening Br. at 1. This fraud grew from KeyPoint's "focus[] on meeting . . . deadlines" and winning bonuses "at the expense of the quality, completeness, and accuracy" of its investigations, Ms. Reed says. Aplt.'s App. at 29, ¶ 38. For instance, Ms. Reed accuses KeyPoint of pressuring investigators to rush investigations to maximize revenue. This pressure led, generally, to rampant violations of KeyPoint's contract with OPM and, in particular, of the TTP. Notably, as to the TTP, the pressure led to the submission of knowingly false corrective action reports designed to hide the violations. At bottom, Ms. Reed alleges that KeyPoint knowingly defrauded the government to "enrich itself and its executives at the expense of national security." Aplt.'s Opening Br. at 6.

         Zooming in on the details, Ms. Reed claims that KeyPoint's fraud manifested itself in three main ways. First, she says that KeyPoint falsely certified to OPM that it had performed complete and accurate investigations. To support this charge, Ms. Reed points to specific instances in which investigators failed to do mandatory interviews of sources. She also details how individual investigators uncovered derogatory information about subjects but failed to report that information in their reports to OPM. Piling on, Ms. Reed lists over 100 instances in which investigators cut interviews short and then lied about it to OPM. She adds to this by exposing scores of violations of the TTP.

         Ms. Reed contends that the second manifestation of KeyPoint's fraud entailed falsely representing to OPM that it had done proper case reviews and quality-control checks. For instance, she documents at least five times that, "despite . . . readily apparent violations," KeyPoint reviewers violated OPM requirements by failing to reopen cases. Aplt.'s App. at 88, ¶ 248. And to circumvent the TTP, "quality control staff failed to perform the proper number of re-interviews." Id. at 89, ¶ 252.

         The third (related) strain of fraud Ms. Reed identifies is KeyPoint's submission of falsified corrective action reports. Recall that these reports "are supposed to detail the specific actions taken by KeyPoint management to address" violations of OPM rules and programs-most notably, the TTP. Id. at 89, ¶ 255. To hide its rampant violations and institutional acquiescence to those violations, Ms. Reed alleges that "KeyPoint falsified corrective action reports to OPM" to give the appearance that it "was actively addressing [violations], when it was not." Id. at 89, ¶ 256. To Ms. Reed's knowledge, KeyPoint falsified dozens of reports to hide malfeasance by at least four individual investigators.

         Publicly ...


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