Cause of Action is filing a brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit asking it to reverse a lower court ruling that barred CoA from suing the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) under the False Claims Act.
In March of 2012, CoA provided the U.S. Department of Justice with evidence that CTA had for years intentionally over-billed the Federal Transportation Authority, defrauding taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars. The Department of Justice declined to intervene in the case, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted CTA’s motion to dismiss.
Congress passed the False Claims Act to stop fraud against the federal taxpayer. The core question in this case is whether that law also applies in the City of Chicago.
Cause of Action Executive Director Dan Epstein released the following statement today:
“The taxpayers overpaid CTA by tens of millions of dollars, yet nothing has been done by either State or Federal authorities to recover the money. CTA was politically connected – its former Congressional appropriator, Roy LaHood, was Secretary of Transportation, its former General Counsel, Ron Rivkin, was the Department of Transportation General Counsel, and its former Board chairwoman, Valerie Jarrett, was a senior Presidential advisor when the fraudulent billing occurred and when the federal government did nothing to recover the funds wrongfully paid. Someone needs to speak up for the average taxpayer. This is why my organization is asking the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to allow our case to proceed so that CTA may be held accountable.”