Lockheed subsidiary, Sandia Corp., pays $4.7 million to settle civil charges it spent federal funds to lobby Congress

by Ben Vernia | August 24th, 2015

On August 21, the Department of Justice announced that Sandia Corp., a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp. that operates the Sandia National Laboratories under contract with the Department of Energy, had agreed to pay $4.7 million to settle civil allegations that it used federal funds to lobby Congress. According to DOJ’s press release:

The Justice Department announced today that Sandia Corporation has agreed to pay $4,790,042 to resolve allegations that Sandia violated the Byrd Amendment and the False Claims Act by using federal funds for activities related to lobbying Congress and federal agencies to obtain a renewal of its Management and Operating (M&O) Contract with the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to operate the Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).  Sandia is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC).

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Between 1993 and the present, NNSA contracted with Sandia to manage and operate the SNL, a government-owned, contractor-operated laboratory that is part of the NNSA’s nuclear weapons complex, with its main facilities located in Albuquerque and Livermore, California.  Between 2008 and 2012, Sandia allegedly used federal funds to support activities to lobby Congress and other federal officials to receive a non-competitive extension of the M&O Contract in violation of a federal law known as the Byrd Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for lobbying.

The case apparently originated in a government investigation, and not from a whistleblower’s qui tam complaint.

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