Samsung Pays $2.3 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

The Department of Justice has announced that Samsung Electronics America Inc. has agreed to pay $2.3 million to resolve allegations that it caused the submission of false claims for products sold on General Service Administration Multiple Award Schedule contracts in violation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.

GSA MAS contracts require the vendor to certify that all products it offers for sale comply with the TAA.  The TAA generally requires the government to purchase products made in the United States, or another designated country with which the U.S. has a trade agreement.

The settlement resolves allegations that, from January 2005 through August 2013, Samsung caused resellers of its products to sell items on their GSA MAS contracts in violation of the TAA by knowingly providing inaccurate information to the resellers regarding the country of origin of the goods.  The government alleged that Samsung represented to the resellers, which in turn represented to federal agencies, that the specified products were made in TAA-designated countries, generally Korea or Mexico, when the specified products were in fact manufactured in China, which is not a TAA-designated country.

The allegations were originally brought in a lawsuit by a former Samsung employee under the False Claims Act’s whistleblower provisions.

For more information, see the Justice Department release.

About William Van Huis

Bill Van Huis is a Senior Writer/Analyst for Wolters Kluwer Law & Business who tracks and analyzes new regulations impacting federal government contracting. He also follows court decisions involving bid protests and contract disputes. You can find his work in WK publications like Government Contract Reports and the FAR and DFARS Matrix Tools. Bill is a Certified Professional Contracts Manager, and he has a law degree from Southern Illinois University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Prior to joining WK, Bill worked both inside and outside state and local government in the areas of procurement and municipal finance. Bill also worked as a staff attorney for the Illinois Supreme Court.
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