When, in the mid 1990s, PNNL (operated by Battelle Memorial Institute) defrauded the government, fired the whistle blower, and then got caught they had to pay triple damages. Not just the original amount of fraud:
The Department of Justice announced today that Battelle Memorial Institute has agreed to pay the United States $330,000 to settle allegations it used government-owned equipment to service commercial customers in violation of a federal contract.
After the DOE Office of the Inspector General began an investigation in 1992, Battelle reimbursed the government $110,000 for unauthorized use of certain spectrometry equipment from 1988 through 1992.
The False Claims Act provides for the recovery of treble damages suffered by the government and penalties for each false claim submitted.
I had original believed they just paid back the amount of the false claims.
I’m hoping they soon become very tired of hearing the phrase “treble damages”.