Robert’s Story


“There is a legitimate fear of retaliation for speaking the truth, but sometimes we have to face our fears and do the right thing.”
“The United States should get what it pays for, nothing less,” said acting Inspector General Robert C. Erickson of the U.S. General Services Agency.


While working as a Supervisor at a local transportation company in Arlington, VA in the early 2000’s, Robert Fulk decided to pursue a graduate degree and expand his expertise in the transportation field. He enrolled in George Mason University and graduated from there in 2003 with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy with an emphasis in Transportation. He used that degree and his previous experience to land a coveted job with UPS. Indeed, his work at UPS placed him in charge of over 100 employees and gave him valuable exposure to and experience with a number of sophisticated transportation systems and processes.


However, during his time at UPS, Robert also became aware of some irregular billing that caused him concern. UPS was providing delivery services to hundreds of federal and state agencies. The delivery to federal agencies was contracted through the General Services Agency and through the U.S. Transportation Command. Robert’s discovery led to a realization that there were a number of troubling billing practices. In some cases inaccurate delivery times were recorded on packages to make it appear that the packages were delivered to federal government offices on time when they had not. In other cases exception codes were recorded by UPS drivers in order to excuse late deliveries when there was no valid reason for the late delivery to the government agency. The inapplicable excuse, such as bad weather or security delay or business closed, prevented the agency from receiving a refund for the late delivery. On the federal level, the case involved the coordinated effort of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, the GSA Office of the Inspector General, the FDIC, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Treasury Department.


While UPS did not admit to wrongdoing, the company did settle the False Claim Act lawsuit with the federal government for $25 million. Similar complaints revolving around charging government agencies for faster shipping than UPS delivered were filed by a number of states and cities. UPS agreed to pay this group $4.2 million to settle the claims.





“It is fundamentally wrong for a person to lose everything just because they tell the truth, but regretfully, it does happen. In time justice prevails and what was wrong is made right.”