A Foothill Ranch company on Wednesday paid the federal government $500,000 to resolve allegations that it supplied the Army with hundreds of foreign-made prosthetic, bracing and support products that had falsely been certified as being manufactured in the United States as required by federal law and its military contracts.
And who outed Össur Americas, Inc. as having done this? Össur itself!
The company supplied the prosthetic components for wounded soldiers in 2005 and 2006, discovered in early 2006 that some sales involved foreign-made products and entered the Department of Defense's Voluntary Disclosure Program in December of that year, according to a statement from Assistant U.S. Attorney David K. Barrett of the Los Angeles-based Civil Fraud Section.
The sales in question were a violation of the federal False Claims Act because Össur had falsely certified compliance with the Buy American Act, Barrett explained. The Buy American Act generally prohibits federal government agencies from purchasing foreign-made products, something stipulated in Össur's contracts with the Army.
After Össur's disclosure, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service launched a probe. Besides paying the settlement amount, the company "instituted a series of compliance measures, including distribution of instruction sheets to sales representatives and training for management officials, to ensure future compliance with the Buy American Act," Barrett noted.
Though based in Orange County, Össur's sales and marketing functions span the country, Canada and South America. Its manufacturing and distribution facilities are based in Michigan, New Jersey and Tijuana. This month, Össur Academy opened a new, state-of-the-art educational facility in Orlando, Florida.