FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
WILLIAMS INTERNATIONAL CO. TO PAY U.S. $2.1 MILLION
TO SETTLE FALSE CLAIMS ACT ALLEGATIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department announced today that Michigan-based Williams International Co., LLC has agreed to pay the United States $2.1 million to settle its civil liability for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
The United States alleged that Williams International Co., LLC violated the False Claims Act in the manufacture and delivery of non-conforming engines for target drones that the company caused to be sold to the United States Navy. The government’s investigation confirmed that, due to defective engines, at least sixty-five target drones experienced operational failures at the Navy’s firing ranges from 1993 to 1998.
Target drones provide the United States Navy with a realistic aerial target capable of simulating enemy threats, for use in gunnery and missile training exercises. The target drones are capable of surface launch from a ship and shore, as well as from military aircraft. The target drone engines in this case were assembled by Williams’ facility at Ogden, Utah.
“This settlement demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to ensuring that defense contractors furnish the military with quality products at a fair price,” said Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.
The Navy’s prime target drone contractor, Northrop Grumman Corporation, has separately agreed to settle its liability as alleged in the qui tam lawsuit United States ex rel. Jordan v. Northrop Grumman Corp., C.A. No. CV95-2985 ABC (C.D. Cal.) relating to Northrop’s delivery of nonconforming targets to the Navy for $20 million, with a credit for the amount paid by Williams.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s office in Upland, California and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s office in Ogden, Utah jointly conducted the Williams investigation.