Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation (NGSC) has agreed to settle civil allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §3729, by overstating the number of hours its employees worked on two battlefield communications contracts with the United States Air Force. Under the settlement, NGSC, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, will make a payment of $25.8 million, which, combined with earlier repayments, will result in a civil recovery of approximately $27.45 million.
“Contractors that knowingly inflate their bills to the government will face serious consequences,” said Assistant Attorney General Joseph H. Hunt for the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “This settlement demonstrates, once again, that we will not tolerate those who falsely charge the armed forces or any agency of the United States to illegally profit at the expense of the American taxpayer.”
“Air Force OSI’s Office of Procurement Fraud is dedicated to protecting the taxpayer’s interests worldwide while safeguarding the needs of the warfighter. This investigation is a testament to AFOSI’s global reach, and to our partnerships with DCIS and the FBI which allowed us to meticulously unravel this international conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Air Force,” said Jason T. Hein, Special Agent in Charge of the Air Force OSI Office of Procurement Fraud, Detachment 6.
The Air Force entered into two contracts with NGSC for battlefield communications services: the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node contract and the Dynamic Re-tasking Capability contract. Today’s settlement resolves allegations that NGSC billed the Air Force for labor hours purportedly incurred between July 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013, by individuals stationed in the Middle East who had not actually worked the hours claimed. NGSC also entered into a separate agreement with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California related to these contracts under which it has agreed to forfeit an additional $4.2 million.