Fire Service Plus Fined for Supplying Defective Fire Suppression to US Navy
Fire Service Plus Inc. Agrees to Pay $985,131 to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Involving Defective Fire Suppression Foam for the Military Fire Service Plus Inc. (FSP), a Georgia-based company, has agreed to pay $985,131 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by supplying fire suppression foam that did not meet military specifications, the Department of Justice announced today.
FSP manufactures commercial and military-grade fire suppression foam. FSP’s military grade foam, known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), was sold under the brand name “FireAde MILSPEC.” The United States alleged that from January 2018 through April 15, 2021, FSP falsely certified that its military-grade fire suppression foam was compliant with applicable military specifications when, in fact, it was lacking the correct percentages of a key chemical. The Navy, Defense Logistics Agency and other federal government agencies purchased barrels of FSP’s military-grade foam to extinguish fires.
“Compliance with applicable military specifications is essential to ensure the safety of our military personnel,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will continue to hold accountable those who knowingly violate the rules and regulations governing the purchase of military grade equipment.”
“The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) will aggressively pursue allegations against contractors providing substituted or inferior products, which risk the safety of our warfighters,” said Special Agent in Charge Cynthia Bruce for the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, DCIS Southeast Field Office. “I appreciate the work of the investigative team to trace and remove all substandard products from inventory across the government ensuring the performance of this life saving equipment.”
“Fire Service Plus’s alleged actions to provide the Department of the Navy with a substandard fire suppressant that failed to meet contract specifications posed a significant and potentially devastating threat to DON personnel and property,” said Special Agent in Charge Peter Tolentino for the NCIS Economic Crimes Field Office. “NCIS extends sincere gratitude to our partners at the DCIS, Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG), and Department of Justice for their substantial efforts to protect our nation’s warfighters from harm caused by defective materials that do not meet the high standards of the U.S military. We remain committed to fully investigating allegations of product substitution that threaten the safety and wellbeing of DON personnel.”
“Intentionally selling non-conforming products used in emergency response has the potential to put lives at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Todd Damiani for the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Southern Region. “As evidenced by the settlement agreement with Fire Service Plus, we remain steadfast in our commitment to working with our partners to maintain standards for goods procured to safeguard our nation’s citizens and service members.”
The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch (Fraud Section) with investigative support from DCIS, NCIS, the Defense Contact Audit Agency-Office of Investigative Support, the Major Procurement Fraud Unit of the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division, CGIS and DOT-IG.
Senior Trial Counsel Art J. Coulter of the Civil Division handled the matter.