Whistleblower to get $1.59 million in shipyard overbilling case

AUGUST 15, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Justice reports that Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (NYSE: HII) has agreed to a $9.2 million settlement of allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the government for labor on U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships at its shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Under the settlement, HII will make a payment of $7.9 million which, combined with earlier repayments, will result in the settlement recovery of approximately $9.2 million.

The civil settlement resolves alleged labor mischarging on various U.S. Navy and Coast Guard contracts dating back to 2003. HII allegedly mischarged labor incurred on particular contracts to other contracts, even though the costs were not actually incurred by those contracts. The settlement also resolves claims disclosed by HII that it had billed the Navy and Coast Guard for dive operations to support ship hull construction that did not actually occur as claimed.

The labor mischarging allegations resolved by the settlement were originally raised in a lawsuit brought by Bryon Faulkner, a former HII employee, under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA), which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. Act also allows the government to intervene and take over the action, as it did in this case.

Mr. Faulkner will receive $1,590,144 as a result of the civil action he filed, which is captioned United States ex rel. Faulkner v. Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. 1:13-cv-295 HSO RHW in the Southern District of Mississippi.

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