FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CIV
THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 1997                           (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A government contractor will pay the
United States $22.8 million to settle claims it overcharged the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for medical equipment by not
giving the government the same discount it gave commercial
customers, the Department of Justice announced today.

     Assistant Attorney General Frank Hunger of the Civil
Division and U.S. Attorney Zachary W. Carter of Brooklyn, New
York, said the settlement resolves all allegations against
Olympus America Inc. of Melville, New York.

     "When companies do business with the government and promise
to give the government a fair price, we intend to hold them to
their bargain," said Hunger.

     According to Hunger, Olympus' contracting personnel failed
to provide VA negotiators with accurate information concerning
its commercial pricing practices for such equipment as
colonoscopes, laparascopes and other medical supplies. 
     Olympus, which manufactures medical imaging equipment,
offered private businesses a discount on the equipment, but
offered a lesser discount to the government.  The VA negotiated
this lesser discount based upon Olympus' representation that it
did not give any discounts to commercial users.  As a result, VA
paid too much for the equipment.  

     Olympus, which was required by law and by its contract with
VA to disclose the information to the government, informed the
government of the overcharges under the VA's voluntary disclosure

     The VA's Office of Inspector General confirmed the
overcharges following an investigation.  The Civil Division and
the office of the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn negotiated the