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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Lockheed settles Coast Guard allegations for $4.4M

Lockheed Martin has settled a False Claims Act allegation to the tune of $4.4 million.

The company was accused of providing defective communications systems to the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the Justice Department.

A whistleblower in Stu Rabinowitz, a former member of Lockheed’s engineering staff working on the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters, initiated the lawsuit that the Justice Department then joined.

Rabinowitz will receive $990,000 out of the $4.4 million settlement.

Rabinowitz and DOJ alleged that Lockheed supplied a radio frequency distribution system for the cutters that did not meet the requirement of transmitting and receiving several different radio signals at the same time without undue interference.

The Coast Guard has taken delivery of six cutters with three more under construction.

Lockheed has agreed to pay the government $2.2 million and make repairs at no cost. The value of the repairs is also $2.2 million.

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general and the Coast Guard Investigative Service led the investigation into the allegations. U.S. Navy engineers and the Coast Guard’s principal engineer also worked on the technical aspects of the settlement, according to DOJ.

Lockheed declined to comment.

Rabinowitz’s attorneys at Phillips & Cohen said he was a lead member and then principal member of Lockheed’s engineering staff between 2000 and 2012. In 2010, he began investigating complaints about the radio system from the Coast Guard.

He investigated the problem and reported the problem more than once to his superiors. He was then laid off.

In addition to the percentage of the settlement, Rabinowitz also will receive a payment for the resolution of his claim under the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provision because he was fired after reporting the problem.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 22, 2018 at 10:54 AM

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