Samsung 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 (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts in violation of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (TAA), according to the Department of Justice.
MAS contracts are contracts awarded by GSA to multiple companies supplying comparable products and services. Once GSA negotiates and awards the contract, any federal agency may purchase under it. Like many other federal procurement contracts, GSA MAS contracts require the vendor to certify that all products it offers for sale comply with the TAA. The TAA generally requires the United States to purchase products made in the United States, or another designated country with which the United States 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 allegations resolved by the settlement were originally brought in a lawsuit filed by Robert Simmons, a former Samsung employee, under the False Claims Act’s whistleblower provisions. Mr. Simmons’ share of the settlement has not yet been determined.
The case is United States ex rel. Simmons v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. et al., No. AW-11-2971.
[Image courtesy: Samsung]