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Taxes – we pilfer from them but we won’t pay them & other news

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The case revolves around Vietnam War veteran Daniel A. Kirk, who was an employee of Schindler Elevator Corporation and suspected that the company was not in compliance with disclosure requirements under the Vietnam Era Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972. His wife received confirmation of these observations from information obtained from the Department of Labor under FOIA, and Kirk filed his own suit.

The issue at stake is what the suit is “based on.” The decision centered on a “public disclosure” bar in the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3730(e)(4)(A)) designed to prevent “parasitical actions.” The bar prohibits bringing suit based on public information unless “the person bringing the action is an original source of the information” (having “direct and indepfendent knowledge”). (Click HERE for article)

Before firing Earl Industries, Navy defended its work
Robert McCabe – (Virginian-Pilot) – Portsmouth – May 17, 2011 – About three weeks before it terminated a $75 million, five-year maintenance contract with Earl Industries LLC, the Navy defended the company’s work in a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

“No formal findings exist that Earl’s performance of the diesel engine overhauls or any other aspect of Earl’s repair work was unsuccessful,” wrote Janice M. Passo, associate attorney, Naval Sea Systems Command, in a letter to a GAO attorney.

The letter came in response to a request by Marine Hydraulics International Inc., or MHI, a Norfolk-based shipyard, to add an April 15 article from The Virginian-Pilot to its formal protest of the Navy’s selection of Earl for the contract. MHI was a finalist for the contract twice.

The Pilot article, based in part on a Navy statement, reported on a Navy investigation into engine repairs on the Norfolk-based amphibious warship San Antonio. The statement cited the contractors’ lack of proper documentation of repair work and called the behavior “unacceptable”. (Click HERE for article)

Sixth Soldier Charged in Afghan Killings
William Yardley – (NY Times) – SEATTLE – May 17, 2011 – A sixth soldier was charged Tuesday in connection with what Army prosecutors have described as the sport killings of three Afghan civilians last year, officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near here said.

The soldier, Staff Sgt. David D. Bram, was charged with solicitation to commit premeditated murder, engaging in murder scenario conversations with subordinates, aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, planting evidence near the body of an Afghan national and failing to report crimes including murder.

The Army did not release more details, but Sergeant Bram has often been mentioned in testimony by witnesses in the case, including other soldiers who have been charged with murder. In January, in a plea agreement, Specialist Jeremy N. Morlock described Sergeant Bram as giving him clearance to commit the first of the three murders, in January 2010.  (Click HERE for article)

Wood-Ridge Homeland Security Agent Accused of Stealing Government Property, Selling It on eBay
Steven Kucan, 47, allegedly had thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods stored at his home.
Alana Quartuccio – (Hasbrouck Heights Patch) – May 17, 2011 – Wood-Ridge resident Steven Kucan, 47, a longtime supervisory special agent with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of theft for allegedly stealing government property and selling it on eBay, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey.

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