FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CIV
MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1995                            (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A British industrial corporation, Lucas
Industries plc, and two of its U.S. subsidiaries will pay the
United States $88 million to settle a lawsuit alleging they failed
to properly test military airplane parts and knowingly shipped
defective parts to the Navy, Army and Air Force under contracts
with the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice announced
     Frank W. Hunger, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the
Civil Division, said the agreement settles a suit, United States ex
rel. Copeland v. Lucas Western, Inc., et al., filed as a qui tam,
or "whistleblower" action, under the False Claims Act against Lucas
Western Inc. in September 1993 by Frederick C. Copeland, a former
machinist for the company.  LWI, based in Park City, Utah,
manufactures aerospace gearboxes, hoists and similar devices for
the military.  
     According to Hunger, the Department filed an amended complaint
in May 1995 claiming that LWI employees falsified gear charts for
the Airframe Mounted Accessory Drive (AMAD), a key component of the
Navy's front-line carrier based fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet.  LWI
personnel, after finding one conforming gear in a lot with many
non-conforming gears, ran multiple gear charts from the single good
gear and attached the charts to uninspected gears.  
     The government's complaint also alleged that LWI falsified
manufacturing and assembly inspections on the AMADs.  The
government alleged that 100 percent of approximately 80 AMAD
gearboxes subjected to tear down inspections as part of the
investigation contained parts with major defects.  
     LWI's illegal practices affected other military programs.  For
example, the government alleged that a tear down inspection of a
gearbox called the Azimuth Drive Unit (ADU), which LWI produced for
one of the Army's premier artillery systems, the Multiple Launch
Rocket System, showed that 100 percent of the 35 ADU samples
contained major defects.  
     Lucas manufactured the parts under military contracts
totalling $400 million.  The Navy will receive $8.8 million of the
settlement in the form of in kind considerations: products and
spare part for the AMAD program.  Copeland will receive 21 percent,
or $19,360,000, as his share of the settlement.  The agreement came
on Saturday, September 30.  
     On January 10, 1995, following a criminal investigation
supervised by the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles,
California, LWI pleaded guilty to 37 felony counts of making false
certifications to the Department of Defense that 35 AMAD and two
ADU gearboxes had been fully inspected in accordance with the
applicable contractual requirements, when, in fact, they had not.
LWI paid a criminal fine of $18.5 million.
     The U.S. subsidiary of Lucas Industries plc, Lucas Industries,
Inc. (LINC), also was a defendant in the civil action.  LINC owns
100 percent of LWI.  
     The lead investigative agency assisting with the civil
litigation was the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, with
assistance from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Army
Criminal Investigation Command and the Air Force Office of Special
     The government's litigation efforts also were supported by the
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and the F/A-18 Program Office,
the Navy's Aviation Supply Office, the Navy General Counsel's
Office, auditors from the Department of Defense's Office of
Inspector General, and the Defense Logistics Agency Defense
Contract Management Command.
     The False Claims Act entitles the government to recover three
times its damages and a civil penalty of $10,000 for each act in
violation of the statute, 31 U.S.C.  3729(a).
     The qui tam case was filed in U.S. District Court in Utah. 
The Department took over the case in February 1995.  
     Under the qui tam amendments to the False Claims Act, a
private party may file a lawsuit on behalf of the government and,
if the government takes over the suit and prosecutes it
successfully, receive from 15 percent to 30 percent of the
government's award.