Department of Justice Seal


MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 1999 (202) 514-2007

WWW.USDOJ.GOV TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Clark Equipment Company, a subsidiary of Ingersoll-Rand Corporation, will pay the government $3 million to settle claims that the company overcharged federal agencies for earth-moving equipment, the Department of Justice announced today.

According to Assistant Attorney General Frank Hunger of the Department of Justice Civil Division and United States Attorney for North Dakota John Schneider, today's civil settlement resolves charges brought against the Ingersoll-Rand Corporation and its subsidiary Clark Equipment Company doing business as the Melroe Company. Clark's headquarters is in Fargo.

The charges were originally filed on June 26, 1997, by a former employee of Clark, Steven Falck, under the qui tam provisions of the civil False Claims Act in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. That complaint alleged that the company failed to provide accurate pricing information to GSA contract negotiators on two contracts for the purchase of "Bobcat" brand earth-moving equipment, and that as a result, federal agencies purchasing the equipment were overcharged.

After investigating the allegations in the whistleblower's complaint, the United States intervened in the case and asserted claims against Clark Equipment and Ingersoll-Rand under the False Claims Act. The case was subsequently transferred to the U.S. District Court in Fargo. Under the settlement, Falck will receive $510,000 for bringing the matter to the attention of the government. Under the qui tam amendments of the False Claims Act, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of the recovery.

The GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated the case. The Department of Justice Civil Division and U.S. Attorney John Schneider negotiated the settlement.

Ingersoll-Rand, a manufacturer of industrial supplies, is headquartered in Woodcliff, N.J.