Charges Arise from Whistleblower Lawsuit by former Gallup Employee Michael Lindley
The attorney for Timothy Cannon says that the former FEMA executive will plead guilty to a felony conflict of interest charge for steering a FEMA contract and funding to Gallup while he was negotiating a partnership position with the worldwide polling firm, NBC News reported today. The criminal charge arises from a qui tam lawsuit that whistleblower law firms Vogel, Slade & Goldstein and Katz, Marshall & Banks filed against Gallup on behalf of their client, Michael Lindley in 2009. Last fall, the Department of Justice joined in Lindley’s civil lawsuit, which charges Gallup with bilking federal agencies out of millions of dollars in contract funds.
The DOJ filed a criminal information containing the felony charge earlier this week against Cannon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The nine-page criminal information against Cannon cites several internal Gallup emails in which Gallup executives discussed hiring Cannon if the FEMA director got Gallup a contract. In one internal email, Gallup’s CEO stated “[I]f [CANNON] gets us a big deal at FEMA… I (sic) think we should hire him.” According to the complaint, after Cannon helped secure the multi-million dollar FEMA contract for Gallup, the polling company extended Cannon a partnership offer with a minimum annual salary of $175,000.
Cannon’s corrupt dealings with Gallup also are detailed in whistleblower Michael Lindley’s False Claims Act lawsuit against the polling firm. Lindley’s complaint states that after he complained internally about Gallup’s alleged misconduct, including its conflict of interest violations, and threatened to report the misconduct to the Department of Justice, Gallup fired him.
United States Government Complaint in Intervention
November 27, 2012
Washington Post: Gallup accused of bilking government
November 28, 2012
Financial Fraud Law: Gallup Defrauded Federal Agencies
November 29, 2012