by Ben Vernia | June 2nd, 2011
On June 2, the Department of Justice announced that Newark, New York-based Ultralife Corp., a maker of batteries, had agreed to pay $2.7 million to settle False Claims Act charges that it provided false pricing (so called “defective pricing”) information to the U.S. Army. According to DOJ’s press release:
Newark, N.Y.-based Ultralife Corporation, formerly known as Ultralife Batteries Inc., has agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve allegations that the battery manufacturer violated the False Claims Act, the Justice Department announced today.
The settlement resolves allegations that the Upstate New York company failed to provide current, accurate and complete cost and pricing data related to three contracts with the U.S. Army to provide Ultralife’s lithium-manganese dioxide non-rechargeable batteries that are used in a variety of military applications. In each of the three contracts at issue, Ultralife was alleged to have knowingly provided government contracting personnel with false certifications concerning the company’s cost and pricing information, which was not current, accurate and complete as required by law. As a result of the defective price disclosures, the Army paid inflated prices for the batteries it purchased.
The case apparently began as a government investigation, and not as a qui tam, or whistleblower lawsuit.