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DOJ: Lockheed To Pay $15.9 Million To Settle Inflated Costs Allegations

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) agreed to pay $15.9 million to settle allegations that it mischarged for perishable tools used on numerous government contracts, the Department of Justice said. Lockheed's settlement also resolves two whistleblower actions, the DOJ said. Representatives for the defense contractor weren't immediately available for comment. The Defense Department said the settlement resolves allegations arising out of a pricing scheme by Tools & Metals Inc., a subcontractor that sold perishable tools to Lockheed for use on military aircraft. The government said TMI allegedly inflated the tools' costs between 1998 and 2005, and Lockheed allegedly passed the costs on to the U.S. Former TMI President Todd B. Loftis in 2005 pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison for his alleged role in TMI's scheme. "It is troubling that a large defense contractor with long-established contractual ties with the United States failed to undertake appropriate measures to ensure the integrity and validity of the costs it submitted to the United States," said Stuart F. Delery, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil division in a release. The whistleblowers in the two cases resolved by the settlement, Robert Spencer and John Becker, will split $2 million of the government's recovery. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; melodie.warner@dowjones.com

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