SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The U.S. Department of Justice has notified a federal court in San Francisco that it plans to take over three previously sealed false claims lawsuits filed by whistleblowers against Tetra Tech, which the U.S. Navy hired to clean up the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

According to court documents, the government’s “complaint will allege that Tetra Tech presented false claims to the United States in connection with its role at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, California, in testing soil and scanning buildings for the purpose of radiological remediation.”

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The notice was filed under seal and unsealed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge James Donato.

Federal prosecutors have until Jan. 14 to file the government’s own suit in the cases. Under whistleblower laws the federal government has the option to take over false claims lawsuits.

Whistleblowers are usually entitled to a share of the money recovered by the government.

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In a statement, Tetra Tech spokesman Sam Singer said, “Tetra Tech EC is disappointed that the Department of Justice has decided to pursue baseless charges against Tetra Tech EC.

“Tetra Tech EC did not do anything improper. We will vigorously defend our record, and are confident we will prevail following an impartial legal and scientific review of the facts.”

Donato has set a case management conference for Feb. 28.

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