Pennsylvania Company Claims They Overcharged the US Government Due to Accounting Errors

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For most individuals and businesses, bookkeeping and accounting services are a natural part of daily life, helping with everything from taxes and record keeping to financial planning. Because of this, many may not consider what could happen if something with our accounting and finance process went awry. Unfortunately, a company in Pennsylvania seems to have learned the answer to that question: the manufacturer has been accused of mischarging and overbilling the U.S. Army, problems the company claims are related to errors in its accounting and bookkeeping services.

The Silicon Power Corporation recently agreed to pay the U.S. Army $265,000 to resolve allegations of mischarging and overbilling. Between 2004 and 2012, this manufacturer of semiconductor devices and high-power utility systems provided design and research services under three government contracts, totaling more than $13 million. The U.S. government has alleged that Silicon Power mischarged or overbilled the Army under two of those contracts.

The accusations came an investigation led by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Major Procurement Fraud Unit of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. According to federal prosecutors in Philadelphia, the investigation determined that Silicon Power billed the same amount on multiple vouchers, charged amounts higher than actual expenses, failed to consider discounts the company had received, and included sums for projects that were not allowed payment under the contracts, among other misdeeds. In at least one case, the amount charged to the government did not match the company’s internal documents.

Under the settlement, Silicon Power is not required to admit to liability or wrongdoing. In a statement, the company disputed allegations that it purposefully engaged in improper billing practices and said that all of the examples cited in the case were in fact the result of errors on behalf of their business accounting services.

Because of the terms of the settlement, it will likely never be known if the overcharging was the result of errors with the company’s accounting services or intentional mischarges. However, statements from federal prosecutors suggest that the U.S. Army and the government are satisfied with the results of the case, as it has demonstrated how seriously they take their contracts.
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