A Virginia Beach company that supplies advanced equipment for the U.S. military’s search-and-rescue operations has agreed to pay $16 million to settle allegations that it fraudulently obtained government contracts and engaged in illegal bid-rigging schemes, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
Franklin Turner, a government contracts lawyer with the firm McCarter & English, said the government has been closely scrutinizing the small-business set-aside programs for years. Part of the problem, he said, is that companies don’t always devote resources to making sure they’re compliant with the law.
“The regulations are complicated, and the companies competing for those contracts don’t have a lot of lawyers making sure they’re compliant,” Turner said. “So the potential to make a mistake is stratospheric.”