The DOJ announced on Friday that Lockheed Martin Corporation had agreed to a $4.4 million settlement to resolve False Claims Act allegations regarding defective communications systems for the United States Coast Guard. The allegations centered on radio equipment for Coast Guard National Security Cutters. The settlement is divided into two pieces, a $2.2 million payment to the Coast Guard and the value of the repairs to the communications equipment, which is also valued at $2.2 million.
The United States alleged that the Radio Frequency Distribution System (“RFDS”) provided by Lockheed on the Coast Guard cutters did not meet operational requirements. Allegedly, the RFDS was not sufficiently able to transmit and receive multiple different radio signals at the same time without unnecessary interference. This RFDS ability is typically referred to as simultaneous operations.
Lockheed Martin had already delivered six cutters with the allegedly unacceptable RFDS and three additional cutters are currently under construction. The U.S Attorney’s Office stated “[t]his office remains committed to fighting fraud and false claims against the federal government, it is essential that the communications systems on the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters work properly. I am pleased that Lockheed has agreed to repair the systems so that they fully function to support the Coast Guard’s important mission.”
The original lawsuit was filed by a former engineer at Lockheed Martin in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The whistleblower in this case will receive $990,000 as a share of the recovery against Lockheed Martin. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Winslow with the assistance of Kathy Terry.
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