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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 20, 2020

United States Receives $1.1 Million To Settle Civil Claims With Defense Contractor Accused Of Fraud

Jacksonville, FL – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that the United States has settled allegations that Islands Mechanical Contractor, Inc. (IMC) improperly submitted claims for standby or delay costs associated with construction contracts at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

IMC is a defense contractor that provides construction services at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. IMC agreed to construct a facility at Guantanamo Bay, but delays occurred. IMC submitted requests for equitable adjustment for additional stand-by and delay costs, but the United States alleges that IMC’s claims for equipment and labor costs were inflated and based on misrepresented, incomplete, and insufficient data. The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) determined that the claimed equipment was not needed for the relevant project, the actual age of the equipment did not match the claimed equipment age, and that the equipment was diverted to other projects instead of being placed on stand-by. Similarly, the DCAA found that the workers claimed to be on stand-by were reallocated to other projects, and the payroll records supporting their standby status were falsified.

“Protecting the integrity of services provided to our armed forces is a high priority for our office,” said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. “We will work vigorously to ensure that defense contractors fulfill their contractual obligations and do not inflate claims for payments so that our military can accomplish its mission.”

NCIS Special Agent in Charge Thomas Cannizzo of the NCIS Southeast Field Office said, “Fraud is not a victimless crime, and puts our Sailors and Marines at greater risk. The American taxpayers are also victims as the blatant and wrongful misuse of American taxpayer dollars not only erodes the public trust but also diminishes the Department of Navy’s ability to obtain the best technology, services, and equipment for our brave military members.” 

This case was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, and Assistant United States Attorney Shea Gibbons.

The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

Topic(s): 
False Claims Act
Updated August 20, 2020