Aerospace giant Boeing agreed to pay $8.1 million as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) addressing allegations it submitted false claims regarding military aircraft contracts it had with the Navy.
The case was brought under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, with the three whistleblowers that came forward receiving a total of more than $1.5 million, the DOJ announced in a press release Thursday.
Of the settlement total, approximately $1.9 million is restitution and about $1.1 million will cover attorneys’ fees, according to the settlement agreement.
The details: From approximately 2007 through 2018, Boeing failed to comply with contractual requirements regarding the aircrafts it was manufacturing for the Navy, the DOJ alleged.
The agency claimed Boeing:
- Failed to perform monthly temperature uniformity surveys on certain autoclaves;
- Failed to collect and analyze temperature uniformity survey data on a monthly basis;
- Failed to verify calibration and certification tags on certain autoclaves were current on a monthly basis;
- Failed to memorialize quality assurance inspections;
- Failed to direct random surveillance of autoclave processes for compliance with certain manufacturing specifications; and
- Failed to use appropriate thermocouples to perform monthly temperature surveys on certain autoclaves.
“The government expects contractors to adhere to contractual obligations to which they have agreed and for which they have been paid,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton, head of the DOJ’s Civil Division, in the release. “Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable contractors who violate such obligations and undermine the integrity of the government’s procurement process.”
Company response: “We entered a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Navy to resolve certain False Claims Act allegations, without admission of liability,” a Boeing spokesperson said in an emailed statement.