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Anti-fraud company reimburses NASAfor alleged fraud

By Eric Fleischauer
DAILY Business Writer 340-2435

HUNTSVILLE — A California company that bills itself as a leader in fraud detection systems agreed to reimburse $1.3 million for the alleged fraud of one of its employees.

A Huntsville employee of Computer Sciences Corp. allegedly bilked NASA by making payments to fictitious companies and obtaining reimbursement for the payments from NASA.

Jill Ellis, an assistant to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Alice Martin, said the office would not release the name of the CSC employee until it decides whether it will bring criminal charges.

"There could be additional criminal charges, but we haven't made a decision on that yet," Ellis said Wednesday.

CSC is based in El Segundo, Calif.

Martin said the alleged fraudulent payments were in small amounts and thus escaped immediate detection. Between 1994 and 2003, Martin said, the employee collected more than $1 million.

"Even though CSC did not know about the employee's misconduct," Martin said, "this settlement reflects that CSC was in the best position to prevent the employee from committing fraud."

NASA's Criminal Investigation Division assisted in the investigation and settlement.

NASA and CSC spokespersons did not immediately return calls Wednesday.

"The keys to a successful fraud identification program are early, swift detection and quick, comprehensive investigations," CSC says in a promotional for a software program called "Fraud Evaluator."

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