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Trade Agreements

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government contracting arising from violations of trade agreements and restrictions, including Buy American requirements and export restrictions. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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May 13, 2019

Silicon Valley-based software company Informatica LLC will pay $21.57 million to resolve allegations that it provided false information about its commercial pricing and discounting practices that was then used in negotiations for Multiple Award Schedule contracts with the General Services Administration.  In addition, Informatica was alleged to have caused sales to the U.S. in violation of the Trade Agreements Act. The whistleblower, a former employee of Informatica, will receive $4.3 million from the settlement.  DOJ

Fraud in GSA Contracts: How to Report it Under the False Claims Act for a Whistleblower Reward

Posted  05/13/19
Entrance to General Services Administration building, with carved eagle over door
Federal government offices purchase all the products and services any office does: office supplies, telecommunications equipment and services, computer hardware and software, consulting services, vehicles, travel services, and so on. The General Services Administration is the centralized procurement arm for the federal government, overseeing tens of billions of dollars in procurement annually, as well as handling...

Catch of the Week — DOJ Settles False Claims Act Case Against Cybersecurity Company

Posted  04/18/19
Hand Above Passcode Locked Phone
Last week, the Department of Justice announced that Fortinet, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity company, has agreed to pay more than half a million dollars to resolve allegations that it lied about its compliance with the federal Trade Agreements Act (TAA). The allegations were brought to the government’s attention through a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who worked in Fortinet’s...

November 13, 2018

Naum Morgovsky and Irina Morgovsky were sentenced following their guilty pleas for conspiracy to illegally export components for the production of night-vision and thermal devices to Russia in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, and for laundering the proceeds of the scheme.  The defendants purchased products using their U.S. business, Hitek International, representing that the products would not be exported.  The couple then shipped the products to Moscow-based Infratech using a variety of front companies and shipping methods.  They were sentenced to 108 months and 18 months, respectively, were assessed a $1 million fine, and forfeited $223 thousand.  DOJ

September 6, 2018

The owner of New Jersey-based defense contracting firm, Bright Machinery Manufacturing Group Inc (BMM), has been charged with defrauding the Department of Defense and violating the Arms Export Control Act. From 2010 to 2015, Ferdi Gul—currently at large in Turkey—submitted bids and was awarded 346 contracts worth $7 million to manufacture military parts within the U.S., including torpedoes, firearms, and mine clearance systems. Instead, Gul had the parts made in Turkey, submitted false quality control paperwork, and sent the parts back to the U.S. to DoD customers. In subsequent testing by the DoD, some of the parts were shown to be essentially unusable. If found and convicted, Gul could be imprisoned for a maximum of 160 years and be ordered to pay up to $3.5 million. USAO NJ

August 8, 2018

The former CEO of Wellco Enterprises, Inc., Vincent Lee Ferguson, was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to sell boots to the Department of the Defense and others as "Made in the U.S.A.," when the boots were, in fact, made in China.  The company instructed its Chinese manufacturing facility to include tear-away "Made in China" labels on the boot uppers, and then instructed employees at Wellco's New Jersey facility to remove the labels.  The company sold over $8 million in fraudulently-marked boots.  USAO E.D.Tenn.

June 8, 2018

New Jersey couple Babu Metgud and Shubhada Kalyani, who operated defense contractor Shubhada Industries, were ordered to pay more than $232,000 for overcharging the Defense Logistics Agency for, and failing to disclose the origin of, munition vehicle light assemblies it had acquired from third parties and marked up by 5,400%. The case was decided on the government’s summary judgement motion. USAO EDPA

Trump Order Presents Opportunity for Blowing the Whistle on Buy American Violations

Posted  04/24/17
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team On April 18th, President Trump signed  Executive Order 13788, calling for the federal government to "scrupulously monitor, enforce, and comply with Buy American Laws, to the extent they apply, and minimize the use of waivers."  There are numerous laws and regulations, generally referred to as "Buy American" laws, that require or express a preference for domestic goods and...

March 7, 2017

Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corporation agreed to enter a guilty plea and pay a $430 million penalty for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by illegally shipping U.S.-origin items to Iran.  ZTE simultaneously reached settlements with the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for a total government payout of $892 million.  In addition, the BIS suspended an additional $300 million which ZTE will pay if it violates the settlement.  See DOJ Press Release.  The settlements relate to ZTE’s shipment of roughly $32 million worth of U.S.-origin items to Iran without obtaining the proper export licenses from the U.S. government.  The products were supplied in connection with two Iranian contracts for the installation of cellular and landline network infrastructure. Whistleblower Insider
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