Sanborn Map Company Inc. has agreed to pay $2.1 million to the U.S. government to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims in connection with U. S. Army Corps of Engineers contracts, the Justice Department announced today. Sanborn, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., provides photogrammetric mapping and geographic information system services.
“We are committed to defending the integrity of our public contracting process,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery. “ The Department of Justice will not hesitate to pursue companies that knowingly fail to comply with their contractual obligations, particularly obligations involving the protection of our national security interests.”
From 2005 to 2011, Sanborn contracted with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to produce maps for U.S. convoy routes in Iraq, Marine Corps bases in the U. S. and other military and civilian projects. Allegedly, in an effort to save money, Sanborn used unapproved foreign subcontractors on three projects, which violated contractual obligations and caused delays on these projects. Sanborn also allegedly used unapproved domestic subcontractors when Sanborn was required to complete all map work in-house and charged unrelated work to the government contracts.
"We applaud the hard work and dedication of our agents and partners at the Department of Justice and other fellow law enforcement agencies," said Director Frank Robey of the U. S. Army Criminal Investigation Command's Major Procurement Fraud Unit. "Our specially trained agents will doggedly pursue all who would undermine the needs and resources of the military.”
The allegations arose from a lawsuit filed by a former Sanborn employee, James Peterson, in a federal court in St. Louis, Mo., under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private individuals known as “relators” to sue on behalf of the government and to share in the proceeds of any settlement or judgment. Peterson’s share of today’s settlement has not been determined.
The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort among the Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, Department of Justice; the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command – Major Procurement Fraud Unit; the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and Defense Contract Audit Agency assisted in the investigation.
The case is United States ex rel. James Peterson v. Sanborn Map Company Inc., 4:11CV000902 AGF (E.D. Mo.). The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.