Army Fleet Support Agrees to Pay United States $514,797 to Settle False Claims Act Allegations
MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA— Army Fleet Support, Inc., (“AFS”) has agreed to pay the United States $514,797 to settle allegations in a federal qui tam lawsuit that it violated the False Claims Act. The settlement resolves allegations in the federal lawsuit that AFS, which has a government contract to provide maintenance support to the U.S. Army’s helicopter training fleet at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, made false certifications when it provided certain helicopters to the U.S. Army for training purposes between July 2007 and October 2007. In particular, the lawsuit alleged that the helicopters presented by AFS did not have bolts that were “Type Certified” for use on the helicopters under the applicable Federal Aviation Administration standards. The United States contends that due to AFS’s certification that these certain helicopters had these bolts, AFS earned compensation under its maintenance contract to which it was not entitled.
“The United States Department of Justice takes very seriously any allegation that a defense contractor is committing fraud or abuse, and the United States will diligently protect those funds that have been allocated to the needs of our Armed Forces,” stated U.S. Attorney Leura G. Canary. “This settlement highlights the United States’ commitment to protecting the integrity of defense contracting, as well as the important role that private citizens may play in using the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act to bring fraud to the attention of the government.”
This case was initially filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama by a former employee of AFS, under the qui tam, or whistle blower, provisions of the False Claims Act. Pursuant to these provisions, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a percentage of any money subsequently recovered by the government in the case. The former AFS employee therefore received a share of the settlement.
The case was jointly handled by Assistant United States Attorney James J. DuBois from the United States Attorneys Office for the Middle District of Alabama and Kelley C. Hauser from the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, in conjunction with the United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
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