County Receives $575,000 in Settlement for False Billing Claim

By the Numbers: $575,000

Storing and shredding records isn’t a sexy topic by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe that’s why—because it was so mundane, a forgettable necessity of government affairs—that it was so susceptible to fraud.

Iron Mountain, Inc., a company hired by Santa Clara County to manage and destroy records, bilked several federal, state and local public agencies out of millions of dollars by overcharging for services. Thanks to a pair of whistleblowers, who filed a federal claim on behalf of the county and other government entities in 2011, Iron Mountain has to repay $44.5 million.

The county gets $575,000 of that amount. The plaintiffs, one a former Iron Mountain employee, will split more than $8 million thanks to a federal law that allows private parties to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and take home a share of the settlement.

The promise of riches should incentivize others to blow the whistle on fraudsters who enjoy the cover of a job so boring it flies below the radar of oversight.

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