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Corning Inc. settles FCA allegations on USG contracts for $5.65 million

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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Army Reservist Allegedly Swindles Millions from Military

(DoJ) – Orlando – June 20, 2012 – United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces the filing of an information charging Sebastian Stewart Oyegun, II (32, Orlando) with theft of government property­.   If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The information also notifies Oyegun that the United States intends to forfeit three cars, $170,000 in U.S. currency, and several bank accounts, which are alleged to be traceable to proceeds of the offense. The information also notifies Oyegun that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $10,205,304.05, which represents the proceeds obtained as a result of the theft of government property.

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Audit free zones and other news

GSA Employees Who Work from Home Racked Up $750,000 in Travel Expenses
Matt Bewig – (AllGov) – June 03, 2012 – The Public Buildings Service (PBS) of the General Services Administration (GSA) has yet another scandal on its hands. PBS has been plagued by a series of scandals since April 2008, when GSA Administrator Lurita Doan was asked by the Bush White House to resign because of serious allegations of conflicts of interest and use of federal properties managed by PBS for partisan purposes, which is prohibited by the Hatch Act. Her successor, Martha Johnson, was brought in by President Obama to clean things up, but she had to resign in April 2012 after the release of an inspector general’s report that bluntly detailed wasteful spending for a PBS training conference for 300 people in Henderson, Nevada, which cost $822,751, or $2,742.50 per person. (Click HERE for article)

Virginia-based Defense Contractor Calnet to Pay $18.1 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Lawsuit
(DoJ) – June 1, 2012 – Calnet Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $18.1 million to resolve allegations that the company submitted false claims to the Department of Defense, the Justice Department announced today. Calnet Inc., an intelligence analysis, information technology and language services company, is headquartered in Reston, Virginia.

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GSA offered contractors tax breaks – at a price

Alan Fram – (Associated Press) – WASHINGTON – May 3, 2012 – It was a curious offer to contractors from a government agency: We’ll give you a tax deduction for making federal buildings more energy efficient if you qualify and if you’ll write us a check for 19 percent of the tax break’s value.

The General Services Administration, already under a cloud for a lavish Las Vegas employee conference, says that after seven months, it dropped its demand for the giveback requirement because there were no takers.

But the policy is now raising new questions about whether GSA was trying to raise money for its own budget without congressional authorization, whether that effort was legal and whether other agencies have tried anything similar.

“It was brought to our attention that certain people at agencies were asking for what looked like kickbacks in order to get allocations of a tax deduction,” Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s oversight panel, said Thursday. “This is a major concern and I’m certainly going to investigate this.”

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Boots on the ground and other news

…Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War, an indictment of the rape “epidemic” within the U.S. military, has brought swift action from the Pentagon…

…Dick’s film, filled with heartbreaking accounts of sexual assaults against both female and male soldiers, often at the hands of their military superiors, gets its international premiere Friday at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, plus two more screenings during the festival that runs to May 6… ~Peter Howell, Toronto.com

Virginia Beach company in legal battle over boots
Robert McCabe – (The Virginian-Pilot) – April 29, 2012 – It’s a tale with the makings of a guerrilla mockumentary, but the players aren’t fooling around.

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