505 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Sand Dredgers Run Aground – Record Recovery by State and Whistleblower
The State of California will recover millions of dollars from three companies who dredged sand and gravel from publicly-owned lands in the San Francisco bay and delta. The companies involved have agreed to pay $42.2 million to settle claims based on allegations that they schemed to underpay the State for sand they dredged from State owned sites. The settlement will be paid on top of increased royalty payments of approximately $6 million that were made in the past few years after the State’s lawsuit was filed. $2.2 million of the settlement was awarded to the whistleblower’s counsel for fees and costs for the six-year litigation. The Superior Court for Contra Costa County approved the settlement and the amounts to be received by the State, the whistleblower and his counsel on December 6.
The State prosecuted the action with assistance from the lawyers for the whistleblower, Wayne Lamprey and Francine Radford of the San Francisco law firm of Goodin, MacBride, Squeri, Day & Lamprey, who investigated the underpayments and brought the matter to the State’s attention in 2001. Mr. Lamprey is a former federal prosecutor who specialized in white collar crime at the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco before returning to private practice in 1999 to specialize in whistleblower cases. “We alleged that the defendants engaged in two schemes to cheat the State,” said Mr. Lamprey. “First, we alleged false reporting of the prices for which sand was sold. The defendants’ leases required payment of royalties based upon the fair