Defense Procurement Fraud:

Information on Plea Agreements and Settlements

GGD-92-135FS: Published: Sep 17, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on defense procurement fraud cases, focusing on: (1) the Department of Justice's cases against the top 100 companies receiving the largest 1991 Department of Defense contracts that resulted in a criminal conviction, or a civil settlement or judgment; and (2) which case results were sealed from the public.

GAO found that from October 1981 through June 1992: (1) 28 of the top 100 defense contractors or their subsidiaries had 38 criminal convictions, which consisted of 35 guilty pleas, 1 no-contest plea, and two trials; (2) fines exceeded $167 million, and restitution orders exceeded $64 million; (3) individuals were also charged and convicted; (4) 38 of the top 100 companies or their subsidiaries were involved in 92 civil fraud cases, of which 58 were settled without litigation, 27 were settled before trial, 3 resulted in partial judgments, and 4 were awards in the government's favor; and (5) civil awards totalled more than $631 million. GAO also found that Justice: (1) does not have readily available the number of sealed plea agreements and settlements; (2) does not have a formal policy on sealing court cases; and (3) only files criminal plea agreements under seal for certain litigation needs, and although some civil actions may initially be sealed, settlements are usually not.

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