Science Applications International Corp., one of the federal government’s largest contractors, has agreed to pay $11.75 million to settle accusations that it inflated bills under federal grants to train anti-terrorism first responders, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Three federal agencies awarded the six grants to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology between 2002 to 2012, and in turn the school awarded “subgrants“ to SAIC to provide management, instruction and development, authorities said.
Kenneth Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, said in a statement announcing the settlement that the company’s cost proposals included inflated charges for personnel. The settlement came after a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by SAIC’s former project manager for the first responder program, Richard Priem.
“If SAIC has been honest and charged the government based on its true costs, additional funds would have been available to train more first responders,” Peter Chatfield, an attorney for Priem, said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for SAIC declined to comment on the case.