As spending on federal contracting reached record levels in recent years — a reported $400 billion in 2005 alone — the risks, as well as the rewards, of doing business with the federal government have never been greater.

The U.S. government has vowed to crack down on procurement fraud and other fraud in government programs. Last year’s $3.1 billion in settlements and judgments in cases involving fraud against the government was the largest amount ever recovered in a single year. It included $615 million paid by the Boeing Co. to resolve claims relating to its use of confidential competitor information and the hiring of a former Air Force acquisition chief who had responsibility for its contracts; it also included numerous other cases involving defense procurement fraud, health-care fraud and other fraud against the government.