“The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into one of the nation’s largest government contractors following claims that employees seeking to report fraud had to sign confidentiality statements barring them from disclosing the allegations to anyone, including federal prosecutors and investigators, according to lawyers in the case.
“The federal judge in Washington overseeing the case against Halliburton and its former subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, also ruled late last week that those confidentiality statements, collected during internal corporate fraud investigations, must be turned over to lawyers suing the companies on behalf of a whistleblower.
“KBR, as the company is now known, filed an emergency motion March 7 to seal the ruling by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin. Before handing down his ruling, the judge reviewed the internal files, calling them “eye-openers” because of the volume of fraud claims they contained.
“Those claims did not come to light until a whistleblower filed suit against the company.”
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