Seiler Instrument to Pay $1.5 million in Forfeiture to the United States
The United States Attorney’s Office in St. Louis has announced that Seiler Instrument & Manufacturing Company, Inc., a Kirkwood-based defense contractor, will pay the United States $1,500,000.00 in forfeiture based on the company’s use of optical materials imported from China in the weapons sights which the company manufactured under a series of contracts with the Department of Defense. The company admits that the parts were improperly certified as compliant with the Buy American Act. Seiler Instrument has agreed to make the payment pursuant to a pretrial diversion agreement in which it further agrees to enter a plea of guilty to a false statement charge in the event that the company does not meet the full terms of the agreement.
Seiler Instrument is a long-time defense contractor which specializes in the manufacture of fire control systems---sighting devices for weapons---that are used on all United States Military Howitzer and mortar systems. The pretrial diversion agreement was reached after an investigation into the company’s business practices with respect to the full range of import and export regulations governing the procurement of materials used to manufacture defense systems. These provisions include the Buy American Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations which place limitations on the export of restricted technical data used in the procurement and manufacturing process to countries such as China. The agreement reflects that Seiler Instrument took measures to fix the problems and has agreed to a compliance program to be monitored by the Department of Defense.
Seiler Instrument has made an initial payment of $500,000.00 as part of the agreement and will make additional payments of $500,000.00 in each of the next two years.
This case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General), the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Army CID Major Procurement Fraud Unit and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security - Office of Export Enforcement, Chicago Field Office. The Defense Contract Management Agency also provided substantial assistance in this investigation.