FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CIV
THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 1998 (202) 616-2765
TDD (202) 514-1888
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SETTLES FALSE CLAIMS ACT
LAWSUIT WITH DEFENSE CONTRACTOR FOR $3 MILLION
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- M/A-COM Inc., a division of defense contractor AMP Incorporated, will pay the federal government $3 million to settle claims it failed to perform some required tests on electronic components known as integrated microwave assemblies (IMAs) that it sold to government contractors in the early 1990's, the Department of Justice announced today.
M/A-COM sold the IMAs to Westinghouse Electric Corp. and ITT Avionics for use in the Advanced Self-Protection Jammer system, which enables Navy and Air Force aircraft to identify and jam radar signals. M/A-COM was required to perform quality tests on the IMAs before it provided them to Westinghouse and ITT Avionics.
Assistant Attorney General Frank Hunger, the head of the Civil Division, said the settlement resolves a lawsuit originally filed by James Heard, a former M/A-COM employee, pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
"We are pleased with this settlement," Hunger said. "Lawsuits like this demonstrate the Department's continuing commitment to ensuring that the equipment being used by our Armed Forces is reliable."
M/A-COM was an independent company at the time, but it was later purchased by AMP Incorporated, and is now a division of AMP.
The qui tam provisions allow private citizens to bring a suit on behalf of the United States and share in any awards if the government takes over the suit and its prosecution is successful. Under the settlement, Heard will receive $600,000.
The case, United States ex rel. Heard v. M/A-COM, Inc., CV 92-11563 WD (D. Mass.), was litigated jointly by attorneys in the Civil Division and the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.