AECOM to pay $57.5M in DoJ settlement
On November 23, 2016, a qui tam civil lawsuit filed pursuant to the federal False Claims Act was unsealed against URS Energy & Construction, now known as AECOM Energy & Construction, and the successor to the former parent corporation of URS Corporation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act, allow private individuals and former employees to bring lawsuits against government contractors on behalf of the federal government, in which the federal government may decide to intervene. As previously disclosed in AECOM's periodic reports, the federal government was investigating contractual compliance and technical issues in the design, development and construction of the Waste Treatment Plant at the Department of Energy's Hanford Nuclear Reservation. As a result of these investigations, in November 2016, the Department of Justice partially intervened in the qui tam lawsuit and contended that URS Energy & Construction and the former URS parent corporation made false claims pertaining to the Waste Treatment Plant contract from February 2007 until June 2013, a period which occurred before AECOM's acquisition of URS Corporation and its affiliates in October 17, 2014. On November 22, 2016, URS Energy & Construction and the former URS parent corporation settled with the Department of Justice to resolve the dispute without admitting liability and agreed to pay $57,500,000. The settlement was favorable to AECOM's reserve for this matter. As a result, AECOM is increasing its fiscal year 2017 U.S. GAAP earnings per share guidance to $2.16 to $2.56 and its adjusted earnings per share guidance to $2.80 to $3.20.