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US Navy Concrete Contractor in Djibouti Admits Fraudulent Conduct, Will Pay Over $ 12.5 Million | USAO-SDCA

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Mark W. Pletcher (619) 546-9714 and Andrew J. Galvin (619) 546-9721

SUMMARY OF PRESS RELEASES February 17, 2021

SAN DIEGO Colas Djibouti, a subcontractor of the Marine Department of Camp Lemonnier and Chabelley Aerodrome, and the United States Embassy in Djibouti, today admitted to having falsified test results and submitted a series of false documents and false allegations in the United States as part of a scheme to defraud the United States in the sale of substandard concrete used to build US Navy airfields in Djibouti.

Colas Djibouti, a French public limited company, is a 100% subsidiary of Colas SA, a French civil engineering company. According to documents filed in court, as part of its contracts with the Department of the Navy, Colas Djibouti was required to certify that it supplied concrete with a specific composition and characteristics. Notwithstanding these obligations, Colas Djibouti created fictitious test results, made fraudulent claims on the composition and characteristics of concrete, and knowingly supplied the United States with concrete that did not comply with the specifications.

In a particularly glaring example, in response to a request for an analysis of the water used in concrete, Colas Djibouti provided an analysis for a bottle of drinking water purchased in stores. As a result of this criminal behavior, Colas Djibouti ultimately supplied substandard concrete to the Djibouti Marine Department which could promote early cracking, surface defects and corrosion of the encrusted steel, and thus significantly harm the long-term durability of concrete.

In accordance with its agreement with the United States, Colas Djibouti will waive $ 8 million, pay an additional $ 2,042,002 to the Ministry of the Navy as restitution and pay a fine of $ 2.5 million.

Everywhere our Navy goes, we go, said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer in the Southern District of California. We will continue to steadfastly protect our American fighters from fraud, corruption, and corruption while protecting ourselves from foreign and domestic enemies.

The case was reviewed by the Defense Criminal Investigation Service, the Navy Criminal Investigation Service and the Defense Contracts Audit Agency. The American lawyer Brewer particularly congratulated the many agents and auditors who worked on this case in Djibouti and in the United States, as well as the American deputy lawyers Mark Pletcher and Andrew Galvin, for their dedication and perseverance in the face of difficult circumstances. .

Our Sailors and Marines depend on high quality products and services from our Department of Navy contractors to meet the Department’s global mission, said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker. This result demonstrates that the Department of the Navy will continue to insist that our contractors must meet our high standards. This comprehensive settlement demonstrates the close cooperation between the Department of the Navy and the Department of Justice to prevent fraud wherever it occurs in the world.

The criminal case has been investigated and prosecuted as part of the Africa Strike Force, an initiative of the Major Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the United States Prosecutor’s Office in San Diego. , in conjunction with its law enforcement partners from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, among others. While the Ministry of Defense provides military and humanitarian assistance across Africa to combat the rise of violent extremism like Boko Haram, Al Shabab and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Africa Strike Force was created to respond to an unmet need to protect American interests. of fraud and corruption. The Africa Strike Force also recently announced charges against Micheline Pollock, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers subcontractor who has been accused of defrauding the United States on military and humanitarian construction contracts throughout Africa.

Today’s criminal resolution, announced by the U.S. Southern District Attorneys Office, was accompanied by the announcement by the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch of a concurrent resolution of allegations of civil wrongdoing, under which Colas Djibouti will pay an additional amount of $ 1,857,998.00.

Government contractors who supply substandard materials to our military not only deceive US taxpayers but also impose additional costs and burdens on the military, said Acting Deputy Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the division. Civilian Department of Judges. Today’s regulations demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that those who do business with the government meet their contractual obligations.

Aircraft taxiways are critical to military operations and therefore require concrete that meets the high standards and specifications of the Department of Defense, said Stanley A. Newell, special agent in charge of the DCIS transnational operations field office. DCIS and our investigative partners will vigorously eliminate illegal behavior like this that threatens the US military readiness and undermines the integrity of the Department of Defense procurement system.

“Protecting the interests of the Navy is a top priority of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Anyone considering defrauding the Navy and US taxpayers should know that NCIS will actively pursue all of these allegations, along with our law enforcement partners. laws and the Department of Justice, “said Todd Battaglia, Special Agent in charge of the NCIS Europe and Africa field office.

DEFENDANT’s business location file number

Colas Djibouti Djibouti, Djibouti 21CR0280-WQH

SUMMARY OF FEES

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1349 and 1343

Maximum Penalty: Twice the pecuniary gain or twice the pecuniary loss, whichever is greater

INVESTIGATION AGENCIES

Defense Criminal Investigation Service

Navy Criminal Investigation Service

Defense contract audit agency

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