BUFFALO, New York (Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice has announced that Kilgore Flares Company and one of its subcontractors, ESM Group Inc., will pay $8 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act.
The U.S. military uses infrared countermeasure flares as a defense against heat-seeking missiles targeting U.S. military aircraft. The defendants sold these countermeasures to the government. The Justice Department alleged between July 2003 and May 2005, the defendants conspired to sell defective countermeasures.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that contractors do not cut corners in manufacturing critical items sold to the U.S. military,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “These settlements also show that the department will aggressively pursue those who avoid paying duties to gain an unfair business advantage over competitors who abide by the rules.”
Kilgore will pay $6 million, and ESM will pay $2 million, the department said.
“Our war fighters – along with everyone who relies upon them, including their families – need to know the equipment they use is of the highest quality and dependability,” said U.S. attorney William J. Hochul Jr. of the Western District of New York. “In this case, the magnesium flares made by Kilgore were literally the last line of defense for our brave aviators. Because of today’s resolution, Kilgore will now ensure that similar incidents do not happen in the future.”