L-3 Communications and its subsidiary, EOTech, have agreed to pay $25.6 million to resolve a civil fraud lawsuit under the False Claims Act. The company allegedly sold millions of dollars of defective combat optical sights to the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of government contracts.
The company made certain representations about the performance of their sights to receive military contracts for the supply of weapons to special operations forces. According to the government’s complaint, these representations were made fraudulently or recklessly.
The company failed to disclose tests in 2006 showing diminished accuracy in extreme temperatures and after exposure to moisture even though they were specifically required to do so by the contract. Subsequent customer complaints, further testing and government returns of their holographic weapon sights revealed other related performance issues which were not disclosed to the government.
This is not the first complaint against the military contractor. Earlier this year, L-3 Communications agreed to pay $4.63 million to settle charges that it inflated the time independent contractors spent preparing soldiers for deployment overseas. Rather than bill the government for the actual time spent by each individual at the facility, the company allegedly billed for all employees from the time the first arrived at the facility until the last left the base for the day. This case was brought to the attention of the government by a whistleblower that received almost $800,000 as a result of his False Claims Act lawsuit.
The False Claims Act offers rewards to whistleblowers, known as relators, for bringing evidence of fraud against the U.S. Government to its attention. The law offers between 15 and 30 percent of the amount recovered as a reward to eligible whistleblowers. If you believe that you have evidence of fraud by a defense contractor or other government contractor, call 1-800-590-4116 to receive a free, confidential initial legal consultation with one of our False Claims Act attorneys.