Whistleblower Alleged Fraud in Sale of Batteries Used for Combat Vehicles in Iraq
The United States has settled a case filed by Minnesota whistleblower David McIntosh alleging fraud by his employer M.K. Battery, Inc., East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc. and other corporations involved in the manufacture of gun turrets installed on combat vehicles in Iraq. The defendants in this False Claims Act case have agreed to pay $5.5 million dollars to the United States. This resolves a claim that the defendants substituted a battery for use in Humvee gun turrets that had lesser capacities than the batteries the Army believed it was buying.
Whistleblower McIntosh remarked: “I believe strongly that the lives of American servicemen and women were put at risk by the switch in batteries. It is a relief to finally resolve this issue and know that the substitute batteries are no longer being used.” McIntosh worked for M.K. Battery, Inc. and was terminated after reporting to his employer that the change in batteries was endangering the troops and illegal. He has a pending case for retaliatory termination. McIntosh is represented by Minnesota attorneys Clayton Halunen and Susan Coler of Halunen Law.
According to Halunen, “The determination of whistleblowers like Dave McIntosh to do the right thing can achieve important change that not only protects our military, but also warns other corporations that they will not escape accountability for fraud against the government.” Coler added, “It is always an honor to partner with the government in pursuing False Claims Act lawsuits brought by our clients. The magnitude of government contracting makes vigilance an imperative. The United States cannot root out all corporate fraud by itself. It needs employees and others on the ground to report fraud by corporations. It takes courage, but that is what distinguishes the whistleblowers we represent.”
Chad Blumenfield, Assistant U.S. Attorney, led the investigation and settlement efforts for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. Philadelphia attorneys Mark Lipowicz, Teresa Cavenagh and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Trautwein from Philadelphia joined with Halunen and Coler to prosecute the claim that has been settled.
2013-02-06 McIntosh, D – Amended Complaint. – Case: Civil No. 08-SC-6471, United States District Court, District of Minnesota