WDC Acquisitions LLC d/b/a Wellman Dynamics of Creston, Iowa, will pay $500,000 to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act for failing to perform contractually required tests and falsifying test results for used parts in military aircraft, the Department of Justice announced today.
Wellman manufactures large metal castings which it supplies to major defense contractors including Bell Helicopter, Textron, Sikorsky Aircraft and The Boeing Company for use in the UH-1Y, AH-1Z, AH-64 Apache, V22 Osprey and UH-60 Black Falcon programs.
The United States alleged that between 2014 and 2021, Wellman failed to perform required metallurgical and other tests on castings, including tensile strength testing, destructive testing, microstructure analysis , hot isostatic and salt spray tests, and falsely certified test results that were not performed. The settlement was based on an analysis of the company’s ability to pay.
“Proper testing is essential to ensure the proper functioning of the equipment provided to our men and women in uniform,” said Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, Chief of the Justice Department’s Civilian Division. “We will hold accountable those who knowingly tamper with or fail to perform the required tests and put our service members at risk.”
“It’s imperative that our defense contractors and subcontractors provide the high-quality, properly tested products that the military needs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Timothy Duax for the Northern District of Iowa. “We are proud to work tirelessly with our partners to ensure this is the case.”
The settlement includes the settlement of claims brought under the who tam or the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Wellman employee Bradley Keller. Under these provisions, a private party may sue on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. Keller will receive $90,000. The who tam the case is subtitled United States ex rel. Bradley Keller v WDC Acquisitions, LLC d/b/a Wellman Dynamics and Trive Capital Management LLC (SD Iowa #20-CV-100-LTS-MAR).
This matter was investigated by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch (Fraud Section), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, and the Criminal Investigative Service of the Defense. The investigation was led by Civil Division Lead Attorney Alicia J. Bentley and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Gillespie.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and no liability has been determined.