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Government Sub-Contractor Fraud Watch

Thursday April 16, 1998

Government contractor fraud
verdict of $387 mil

By Howard Hobbs, Daily Republican Contributing Editor

PALO ALTO DESK - The government contractor who was hired to make Army tanks, called the Bradley Fighting Vehicle actually made and sold the government a substandard leaky death-trap not an amphibious war machine. So said, the findings in a fraud verdict of $387 million, Tuesday. So said, the findings in a fraud verdict of $387 million, Tuesday. The case name is U.S. ex rel. Henry Boisvert v. FMC Corp., 86-20613.

The San Jose, CA federal jury ruled that Chicago-based FMC Corp., '...made 13,000 false billing claims to the government over 10 years.' The False Claims case went to trial on Jan. 20th, after 12 years of delay.

The attorney for the plaintiff was J. David Black, a partner at Jackson Tufts Cole & Black in San Jose. He represented Henry Boisvert, a test engineer who brought the case against FMC after the Justice Department declined to pursue the alleged fraud.

Plaintiff Boisvert, will share the monetary award with the U.S. government. He worked for FMC for about eight years before being fired shortly after pointing out the Bradley design flaws to his San Jose managers.

Boisvert made the discovery while inspecting the Bradley tanks as they were being manufactured. He found the vehicles did not meet U.S. Army's design specs. The vehicle was supposed to be fitted to drive over land then descend into water instantly. But the vehicles, could not successfully perform the water test the Army had required, because the hull leaked so badly.

FMC, was paid $12 billion for manufacturing 6,500 of the leaky amphibious tanks.

The jury verdict was the result of a complicated formula which doubles or triples portions of the $125 million damages, depending on when each false claim occurred, could ultimately swell the award to about $387 million.

Under the terms of the verdict, the U.S. Treasury will automatically receive at least 70% of the judgement.

FMC attorneys told reporters Tuesday, they will appeal the verdict.

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