Bell Helicopter has agreed to pay the U.S. government $16.6 million to settle claims that it overcharged the Defense Department for work on military contracts.
The Justice Department announced the settlement Wednesday, bringing an end to investigations that began in August 2004, when Bell attorneys first notified the Pentagon's inspector general that the company had overcharged the government for work done by Bell subsidiaries and affiliates.
Bell spokesman Tom Dolney noted that the company voluntarily brought the overcharges to the government's attention and had "cooperated fully" with the Defense and Justice investigations.
"We were pleased to work with the government to bring this matter to a fair conclusion," Dolney said.
The company had already made two payments totaling $12,851,248 in 2006 to settle the original claims. The settlement agreement signed Tuesday calls for Bell to pay an additional $3.7 million to settle claims stemming from overcharges attributed to Bell's Canadian subsidiary.
A Justice Department spokesman said he could provide no further details about whether the settlement amounts were just repayment for the overcharges or included fines as well.
The settlement document released by the government does not spell out details of the overcharging practices.
But a source with knowledge of the matter said it involves Bell adding a markup, or additional profit, on top of the charges for work performed by the company's subsidiaries.
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