FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MONDAY, JULY 29, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
IBC ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO PAY UNITED STATES
TO SETTLE FALSE CLAIMS ACT ALLEGATIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — IBC Advanced Technologies has agreed to pay between $700,000 and $1.2 million over the next five years to settle allegations that IBC mischarged the United States, the Justice Department announced today. The government alleges that the specialty chemicals company based near Salt Lake City, Utah, mischarged the U.S. under two research awards by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the Department of Commerce.
The settlement ends a qui tam or whistleblower suit initiated by five former IBC employees who alleged that the company charged labor and other costs to NIST for work actually performed for IBC's commercial customers. IBC President Steven R. Izatt, Vice President Ronald L. Bruening and Controller Paul J. Talbot also were named as defendants after the United States intervened in the suit in May 1999.
"This settlement demonstrates the United States' commitment to ensuring that federal funds targeted for research in the public interest are protected from fraud and abuse," said Assistant Attorney General Robert D. McCallum, Jr., in charge of the Department's Civil Division.
The suit under the federal False Claims Act sought damages and penalties for IBC's mischarging under two $2 million Advanced Technology Program (ATP) awards. The government alleged, among other things, that IBC failed to implement required accounting procedures to ensure that the ATP funds were spent only for the purposes intended, and also that IBC submitted false and misleading reports concerning its progress on the research programs funded by the ATP.
The final amount of the settlement will be determined by the level of IBC's gross income over the next five years. As part of the settlement, IBC has agreed not to participate in any Commerce Department non-procurement program during the five-year period. The settlement also provides for payment to the five individual plaintiffs of a share of the settlement amount, under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act.