Lockheed Martin has entered into a $2 million settlement with the U.S. government to resolve False Claims Act claims in a whistleblower suit filed against the defense contracting giant in 2009.
According to the Justice Department, which announced the settlement in a news release today, Lockheed allegedly engaged in a bid-rigging scheme in an effort to provide support services for the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage at the Naval Oceanographic Major Shared Resource Center and at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss.
According to the Justice Department’s June 2009 complaint, the General Services Administration awarded the contract to handle the support services to Science Applications International Corp., which teamed with Lockheed Martin and Applied Enterprise Solutions to complete the order. SAIC was paid a total of $115 million under the contract, $2 million of which went to Lockheed Martin, which worked as a subcontractor.
The complaint says that prior to the contract being awarded, two government employees working at the Shared Resource Center, Stephen Adamec and Robert Knesel, conspired with Lockheed Martin, SAIC, AES and Dale Galloway, chief executive officer of AES, to ensure that SAIC and its team of subcontractors were awarded the contract. Adamec and Knesel allegedly shared information with SAIC before providing it to other contract bidders and chose a type of contract and put language in the solicitation to favor the SAIC team.
According to the news release, Justice Department prosecutors got wind of the alleged scheme when David Magee, a computer scientist at the Stennis Space Center, filed suit against Lockheed and the other subcontractors under the federal qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. For serving as the whistleblower, Magee will receive $560,000 as his share of the recovery.
Lockheed was represented by a team that included lawyers from Jackson, Miss.-based Watkins & Eager and Cincinnati, Ohio-based Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease.