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March 15, 2018

Posted  April 30, 2018

Japanese-based Toyobo Co. Ltd. and its American subsidiary Toyobo U.S.A. Inc. agreed to pay $66 million to resolve claims they violated the False Claims Act for selling defective Zylon fiber used in bullet proof vests that the United States purchased for federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. According to the government, Toyobo knew that Zylon degraded quickly in normal heat and humidity, and that this degradation rendered bullet proof vests containing Zylon unfit for use. But Toyobo nonetheless actively marketed Zylon fiber for bullet proof vests, published misleading degradation data that understated the degradation problem. The settlement is part of a larger investigation of the body armor industry’s use of Zylon in which the government previously recovered more than $66 million from 16 entities involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of Zylon vests. The allegations surrounding this settlement originated under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by law enforcement officer Dr. Aaron Westrick, who is now a Criminal Justice professor at Lake Superior University. He will receive a whistleblower award of $5,775,000 from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ

Tagged in: Contract Non-Compliance, FCA Federal, Government Procurement Fraud, Whistleblower Case, Whistleblower Rewards,