Whistleblower News & Articles
November 13, 2023
The Boeing Company (Boeing) has agreed to pay $8.1 million to settle allegations of False Claims Act violations. The settlement stems from allegations that Boeing failed to adhere to critical manufacturing specifications required by the contract to manufacture the V-22 Osprey. According to the DOJ’s press release, the allegations were first brought to light by three former Boeing employees.
Boeing has long held the contract for manufacturing the V-22 Osprey, a tilt rotor military aircraft. The Osprey is manufactured at Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. One aspect of the contract involved the manufacture of composite parts cured in autoclaves, large chambers that precisely control temperature and pressure. The V-22 manufacturing specifications mandated Boeing to conduct monthly temperature uniformity surveys to ensure accurate autoclave performance.
In 2016, three then-employees who worked in composites fabrication and autoclave operations with the V-22 program filed a whistleblower complaint under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers, Robert Roath, Richard Faucher and Thomas Shaffer, alleged that, from 2007 to 2018, Boeing failed to adhere to agreed upon standards for the fabrication of composite components. Specifically, the trio alleged Boeing neglected to perform routine checks, including monthly temperature uniformity surveys, failed to collect and analyze survey data, did not verify calibration and certification tags on autoclaves, and omitted random surveillance of autoclave processes.
Boeing has agreed to pay $8.1 million in settlement of the whistleblowers’ case. The False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to receive a portion of the recovered amount due to their disclosures. In this case, the three whistleblowers will collectively receive $1,539,000 from the settlement proceeds.
In announcing the settlement, Special Agent in Charge Greg Gross of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Economic Crimes Field Office remarked:
The integrity of the military procurement process, and ultimately warfighter safety and our national security, demand that our contractors comply strictly with manufacturing requirements, including protocols for equipment testing. NCIS and our partners remain committed to rooting out any noncompliance with manufacturing specifications that threatens warfighter readiness.
The Whistleblower Law Collaborative LLC represents clients nationwide in bringing actions under state and federal False Claims Acts. If you have knowledge of Defense Contractor Fraud, we encourage you to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.