PoleZero Corporation Agrees to Pay $2.8 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations
Baltimore, Maryland – Department of Defense contractor PoleZero Corporation, owned by Dover Corporation since 2007, has agreed to pay the United States $2,800,000 to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that the company caused false claims to be submitted to the Department of Air Force for communications equipment.
The settlement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) - Mid-Atlantic Field Office; Brigadier General Keith M. Givens, Commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; Special Agent in Charge Darrell Gilliard of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Washington Field Office.
Pole Zero is a subcontractor that provided radiofrequency filters (RF filters) and integrated co-site equipment (ICE) to the United States Air Force for use in its E-3 AWACS Aircraft program. The settlement agreement resolves allegations that from 2004-2013 Pole Zero knowingly provided RF filters and ICE equipment that failed to meet contractual specifications. PoleZero denies the allegations.
“Defense contractors are expected to ensure that the equipment they provide meets the expectations of the contract. The military needs to be able to depend on the quality of the products it purchases," said United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“Getting what you pay for is something we all should expect,” said Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the DCIS, Mid-Atlantic Field Office. “DCIS and its law enforcement partners remain steadfast in expecting contractors to adhere to agreements made with the government when providing products and services.”
The civil settlement resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and obtain a portion of the government's recovery. The civil lawsuit was filed in the District of Maryland (United States ex rel. Stoneham v. PoleZero Corporation, PoleZero Acquisition, Inc. and Dover Corporation, WDQ 12-392). As part of today’s resolution, the Relator will receive $504,000 from the settlement.
The settlement was a result of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland, U.S. Department of Justice, DCIS, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and NCIS. Mr. Rosenstein commended the Defense Contract Audit Agency for their assistance in the investigation. The investigation was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas H. Barnard and Thomas F. Corcoran and Senior Trial Counsel Dan Spiro from the Department of Justice.