WASHINGTON – Newark, N.Y.-based Ultralife Corporation, formerly known as Ultralife Batteries Inc., has agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve allegations that the battery manufacturer violated the False Claims Act, the Justice Department announced today.
The settlement resolves allegations that the Upstate New York company failed to provide current, accurate and complete cost and pricing data related to three contracts with the U.S. Army to provide Ultralife’s lithium-manganese dioxide non-rechargeable batteries that are used in a variety of military applications. In each of the three contracts at issue, Ultralife was alleged to have knowingly provided government contracting personnel with false certifications concerning the company’s cost and pricing information, which was not current, accurate and complete as required by law. As a result of the defective price disclosures, the Army paid inflated prices for the batteries it purchased.
“Contractors who improperly pass inflated costs on to the American taxpayers undermine the public’s trust,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “This case demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to holding accountable contractors who attempt to overcharge the government for purchases.”
“Those who work for the government as contractors have a duty of honesty to the American taxpayers, said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York William J. Hochul Jr. “We will continue to use the False Claims Act and all other civil legal tools at our disposal to address contractors that seek to avoid their disclosure obligations when selling products to the United States government.”
“The American taxpayer expects the Department of Defense and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service to be champions of fiscal accountability and acquisition integrity,” said Edward T. Bradley, Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Northeast Field Office. “Today’s settlement is evidence of the commitment of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service to vigorously investigate procurement fraud allegations."
The case was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York and the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. The investigation was conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency, the DCIS and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.