WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The Justice Department announced that Novum Structures LLC has agreed to plead guilty and pay $3 million to resolve allegations of improperly using foreign materials on construction projects involving federal funds.
Novum, a Wisconsin-based architectural firm, allegedly violated the “Buy America” requirements – the contractual provisions implementing various domestic preference statutes. The new agreement resolves allegations that Novum repackaged materials and falsified documents in order to hide its use of foreign materials. It will pay a $500,000 fine.
“When taxpayer dollars are provided for construction projects, the government expects contractors to comply with all requirements, including ones that ensure the money remains in the U.S. economy,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said. “This settlement shows that the Department of Justice is committed to pursuing claims against contractors that put financial gain ahead of complying with the law.”
Novum will also pay $2.5 million to resolve alleged False Claims Act violations. The Justice Department had alleged that Novum’s submissions of false claims involved knowingly violating its contractual obligations by using noncompliant foreign materials.
Novum agreed not to contest debarment from any future federally funded projects.