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Jim McElhatton – (Federal Times) – June 4, 2013 – The outcome of a court battle between the Army and KBR over the final stages of LOGCAP III, the largest government services contract in U.S. history, could affect tens of thousands of federal contracts while creating “enormous uncertainty” for vendors and the government alike, according to the Justice Department.
The warning, delivered in the footnote of a recent U.S. Court of Federal Claims pleading, marks the latest development in a dispute to decide how to close out the 12-year-old, $38 billion military logistics contract supporting military operations in Iraq.
While the Army has pushed to change the LOGCAP III pricing structure to a firm, fixed-price basis, KBR has sued to keep the closeout work under the existing cost-reimbursable arrangement. Read the remainder of this entry »
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.
CIA Contractors Settle False Claims Act and Kickback Allegations for $3 Million
United States Alleges Companies Provided Government Employees with Meals and Entertainment to Steer Contract Award
DoJ – March 7, 2013 – The Justice Department announced today that American Systems Corporation, Anixter International Inc., and Corning Cable Systems LLC have agreed to pay the United States $3 million to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act in bidding on a contract with the CIA.
The settlement announced today resolves claims against these contractors related to a CIA contract awarded to American Systems in early 2009 to provide supplies and services. American Systems teamed with Anixter to bid on the contract with Corning as a supplier. The United States alleged t hat American Systems, Anixter and Corning provided gratuities, including meals, entertainment, gifts and tickets to sporting and other events, to CIA employees and outside consultants in order to influence contract specifications that would favor the three companies in the award of the contract. The settlement also resolves allegations that the three companies improperly received source selection information from a CIA employee to whom they had provided gratuities, and that they had concealed the gratuities prior to award.
“This settlement shows that the United States will protect the integrity of the federal procurement process from the wrongful activities of unscrupulous contractors,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice, Civil Division. “Plying government officials with meals and entertainment to gain favorable treatment in the award of federal contracts corrupts the procurement process and will not be allowed.”
“Improper gifts and gratuities paid to government officials are a corrupting influence on government contracts. Combating this type of conduct is a high priority in the Eastern District of Virginia,”said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride.
Kentucky-Based Defense Contractors, Owners Agree to Pay $6.25 Million to Resolve Allegations That They Submitted False Statements and Claims to Obtain Army Contracts Intended for Small Businesses
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – December 5, 2012 – Kentucky-based Lusk Mechanical Contractors and Commonwealth Technologies, and their owners, Harry Lusk and Wendell Goodman, have agreed to pay $6.25 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false statements to the Small Business Administration and false claims to the Army, the Justice Department announced today.
British Contractor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Wire Fraud Conspiracy Related to Iraq Reconstruction Efforts
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – December 10, 2012 – British contractor APTx Vehicle Systems Limited agreed today to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Coalition Provisional Authority that governed Iraq from April 2003 to June 2004, the government of Iraq and JP Morgan Chase Bank. A civil settlement agreement resolving a related action filed under the False Claims Act was also announced today.APTx was charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy in a criminal information filed today in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. As part of the plea agreement filed with the information, APTx agreed to pay a criminal fine of $1 million.