US Seeks Millions from Plummer in Fraud Suit
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 15 -- In a suit charging Plummer Precision Optics with falsifying inspection reports, the US government is seeking fines up to three times the government's damages -- rumored to be in the millions of dollars -- plus up to $10,000 for each falsified report. If found guilty, Plummer would be restricted from working as a military contractor in the future.
The civil suit charges that Plummer, two related entities, and four individuals falsified inspection reports over a 10-year period, cheating the military out of millions of dollars. The allegations arose from a whistle-blower lawsuit, filed under seal in March 1997 by former Plummer marketing director Robert Basore. Defective Plummer optical components allegedly have been discovered in Abrams M-1 tanks and Bradley armored vehicles.
The suit named as defendants two company vice presidents, Max Haskins and Walter Lagger, in addition to company founder John L. Plummer and his wife, Jutta. Besides Plummer Precision Optics, the other defendants include the company's Singapore-based subsidiary, Plummer Optics PTE, and the Tomilda Trust of Liechtenstein. Plummer, 85, and his wife reportedly said they were puzzled by their inclusion in the suit; Plummer claimed he retired eight years ago and his wife said she never worked at the company.
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