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Posted May 20, 2013 By Forseti

Not-Quite-Lost Shipping Containers May Cost Feds
Lorraine Bailey – (Courthouse News) – May 17, 2013 – A fourth company will join the fight to prove that the government lied about losing 1,000 leased shipping containers so it could keep using them without paying, a federal judge ruled.

Three container companies, CAI International, Cronos Containers and Textainer Equipment Management, had leased shipping containers to TOPtainer, which in turn leased the containers to the U.S. Army for equipment shipments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Wednesday, Judge Nancy Firestone with the Court of Federal Claims joined

Capital Lease to the case because it had been Textainer’s supplier.

They claim that the government told TOPtainer that it lost 1,000 when its lease was up, and paid TOPtainer for the loss, but TOPtainer never remitted that money to its suppliers and is now defunct.

The container companies say that the government took the title to their property without paying just compensation.

Capital also “presented undisputed evidence to the court to show that 125 containers that had been owned by Capital and were now the subject of plaintiff Textainer’s claim were never ‘lost,’ but were instead sent to Okinawa, Japan and thus appeared to have been ‘taken’ outside the terms of the master lease,” Judge Firestone wrote. (Click HERE for article) (Click HERE for Judge’s Order)

Soldier Given Second Shot at Suing Gun Maker
Rose Bouboushian – (Courthouse News) – April 3, 2013 – A soldier who was injured when his M2 machine gun exploded and a shell casing pierced his leg will get a chance to hone his federal lawsuit against the gun’s manufacturer.

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New York-Based Corning Incorporated to Pay U.S. $5.65 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations

DoJ – March 8, 2013 – Corning Incorporated has agreed to pay the United States $5.65 million to resolve claims that it knowingly presented false claims to the United States for laboratory research products sold to federal agencies through Corning’s Life Sciences division.   Corning, a New York based corporation, creates and makes glass and ceramic components for consumer electronics, mobile emissions controls, telecommunications and life sciences.

The settlement resolves claims relating to a contract entered into by Corning in 2005 to sell laboratory research products to federal government entities through the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program.   The MAS program provides the government and other General Services Administration authorized purchasers with a streamlined process for procurement of commonly-used commercial goods and services. To be awarded a MAS contract, and thereby gain access to the broad government marketplace and the ease of administration that comes from selling to hundreds of government purchasers under one central contract, contractors must agree to disclose commercial pricing policies and practices, and to abide by the contract terms.

The settlement resolves allegations that, in contract negotiations and over the course of the contract’s administration, Corning knowingly failed to meet its contractual obligations to provide GSA with current, accurate and complete information about its commercial sales practices, including discounts offered to other customers, and that Corning knowingly made false statements to GSA about its sales practices and discounts .   The settlement further resolves allegations that Corning knowingly failed to comply with the price reduction clause of its GSA contract by failing to disclose to GSA discounts Corning gave to its commercial customers when they were higher than the discounts that Corning had disclosed to GSA, and by failing to pass those discounts on to government customers.  The United States alleged that, because of these improper dealings, it received lower discounts and ultimately paid far more than it should have for Corning products.

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KBR November Litigation Round-Up

Posted November 26, 2012 By Ms Sparky

NEIL GORDON – (POGO) – November 26, 2012 – November has been a very bad month for defense contractor KBR.

KBR is the federal government’s primary logistics support contractor in Iraq, receiving tens of billions of dollars in business from the Department of Defense over the last decade, much of that under the U.S. Army’s monopolistic Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) III contract.

In early November, an Oregon federal jury returned an $85.2 million verdict against KBR for exposing military personnel to toxic chemicals at an Iraqi water treatment facility in 2003. The jury found that KBR had “acted with reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and conscious indifference to the health, safety, and welfare” of the plaintiffs. A case raising similar claims is pending in KBR’s hometown of Houston, Texas, and will soon go to trial.

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The alleged fraud included purported animal house style alcohol and drug abuse, physical harassment of females, attempts to coerce a government officer to sole source contracts to the company, purchase and use of black market weapons and illegal possession of deadly firearms.~Amended Complaint, November 20, 2012

Melson-Smith v Jorge Scientific Amended Case: 1:12-cv-00389 (EGS) PDF

 

“And those headlines can impact the mission that we’re engaged in,” the secretary said. “They can put your fellow service members at risk. They can hurt morale. They can damage our standing in the world, and they can cost lives.”~Secretary Leon Panetta

Here’s a thought, Mr. Panetta, as the Secretary of  Defense and appointed leader of the Department of Defense; perhaps you should hold the contractors you award contracts to and their personnel, who are within our troops circle of influence, to some standards… ~Forseti

Contractors Alleged to Abuse Alcohol, Drugs, Guns at Parties In Afghanistan

Puck Lo – (CorpWatch) – November 14, 2012 -  Jorge Scientific Corporation, a military contractor with nearly a billion dollars in U.S. government contracts, is being sued by former employees for “shocking misconduct” in Afghanistan. The charges include illegal and reckless use of firearms, abusing alcohol and drugs and billing the government for property destroyed during raucous parties.

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US vs KBR again – will this one stick?

Posted November 19, 2012 By Ms Sparky

I wonder who comes up with this stuff?

United States Sues Houston-based KBR and Kuwaiti Subcontractor for False Claims on Contracts to House American Troops in Iraq

(DoJ) – November 19, 2012 – The government’s complaint arises from the Bed Down Mission, a push to replace the tents used to house soldiers during the early days of the war with trailers, also called living containers.   KBR performed many of the services required under LOGCAP III, including the Bed Down Mission, through foreign and domestic subcontractors.   According to the complaint, KBR awarded a subcontract to First Kuwaiti on Oct. 16, 2003, to supply, transport and install 2,252 living containers at Camp Anaconda in Iraq for about $80 million.   The government alleges that First Kuwaiti was required to complete delivery and installation of the trailers at Camp Anaconda by Dec. 15, 2003.   The government further alleges that in July 2004, First Kuwaiti presented two claims to KBR contending that government-caused delays in providing military escorts for convoys into Iraq entitled the company to an increase in the contract price to cover its increased costs.   According to the complaint, KBR agreed to pay First Kuwaiti an additional $48.8 million and passed that cost on to the United States.    

The government’s complaint alleges that First Kuwaiti knowingly inflated its crane and truck costs, among other items, and misrepresented the cause of its delays.   The complaint further alleges that KBR charged these costs to the United States knowing they were improper.

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