U.S. gets $5.9M in settlement

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By The Staff

The United States Department of Justice announced earlier this week that PC Specialists Inc., doing business as Technology Integration Group (TIG), has agreed to pay the United States $5.9 million to settle allegations that the company inflated the price of computers sold through another company to the National Nuclear Security Administration.
The computers in question were for use at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.
According to the DOJ, from 2003-2013, TIG sold Dell computers to Sandia Corporation for resale to the United States under Sandia’s contract with the NNSA.
The United States alleged that TIG knowingly inflated the amounts it charged Sandia by failing to give credits for rebates and discounts it received from Dell as required by its contract and causing false claims to the government for the inflated prices.
TIG, headquartered in San Diego, buys computers and other technology products for resale to other purchasers.
“The resources available to achieve the important goals carried out by our national laboratories are precious and limited,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, in a statement about the settlement. “(The) settlement demonstrates that diverting funds from the critical mission of the laboratories by inflating costs and making false claims or causing others to make false claims for government funds will not be tolerated.”
In a separate but related matter, the DOJ said in April 2015 TIG entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office regarding allegations that three employees in TIG’s Albuquerque office engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States by inflating the amounts it charged Sandia for computers.
The non-prosecution agreement in that matter required TIG to terminate the employment of the three employees — a vice president, a senior account executive and an accounts executive — who participated in and profited from the deal.
The agreement also required TIG to retain and pay for an independent monitor selected by the U.S. Attorney’s office who is responsible for monitoring TIG’s compliance with the agreement, and TIG policies, procedures and training relating to federal government contracts over the agreement’s three-year term.
These resolutions were the result of an effort by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch of the U.S Attorney’s office and the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG). The criminal investigation was conducted by DOE-OIG, the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and the Albuquerque Office of the Internal Revenue Service.
“Fraud involving government contracts will be zealously pursued in New Mexico,” said U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners are committed to recovering losses, preventing fraud, holding accountable those who exploit government contracts and ensuring that the taxpayers’ monies are properly spent.”