Misrepresentation in Military Contracts: Justice Department Files Complaint Against Insect Shield LLC

Alleged False Claims in Military Contracts

The Justice Department has initiated legal action against Insect Shield LLC under the False Claims Act, citing purported submission of false claims to the Department of Defense (DoD) concerning contracts for Army Combat Uniforms.

Notably, claims have also been raised against the Estate of Richard Lane, the deceased founder, majority owner, and former chief operating officer of Insect Shield.

Deceptive Practices in Uniform Testing

The complaint outlines that multiple manufacturers of Army Combat Uniforms subcontracted with Insect Shield for applying permethrin—an insect-repellant—to the uniforms.

Part of their contractual obligation involved conducting necessary tests to ensure compliance with specified permethrin levels. Allegedly, Insect Shield and Lane manipulated test results to conceal failures, employing tactics like combining results from different rounds, relabeling test samples, and performing excess re-tests.

Government’s Stance on Contractual Integrity

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton emphasized the imperative for government contractors and subcontractors to fulfill their obligations, particularly in required testing activities.

The Justice Department remains resolute in pursuing those misrepresenting compliance with contractual commitments, safeguarding taxpayer interests.

Collaborative Efforts and Accountability

U.S. Attorney Sandra Hairston reiterated the commitment to hold accountable those defrauding the government, stressing the protection of taxpayer funds and ensuring adherence to standards by companies serving the military.

Special Agent in Charge Andrew Johnson echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the importance of upholding obligations for items critical to the safety of service members.

Supporting Investigative Endeavors

Multiple agencies, including the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Defense Contract Audit Agency, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service, collaborate in investigating DoD contractors failing to conduct required tests and accurately report results.

These collaborative efforts highlight a dedication to maintaining the integrity of the DoD procurement process.

Legal Proceedings and Investigative Support

The lawsuit originated from Emelia Downs, a former Insect Shield employee, under the False Claims Act’s whistleblower provisions.

The United States intervened in the lawsuit, filing it in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Various government entities, including the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, manage the case with investigative support from relevant agencies.

Allegations and Ongoing Legal Process

It’s important to note that the claims in the complaint remain allegations at this stage, and no determination of liability has been established. The legal proceedings continue, led by trial attorneys and investigative units dedicated to uncovering the truth.

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