Wisconsin Architectural Firm to Plead Guilty and Pay $3 Million to Resolve Criminal and Civil Claims
On January 5, 2016, Novum Structures LLC (Novum), a Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based architectural firm, agreed to enter a guilty plea and pay $3 million in U.S. District Court, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from its improper use of foreign materials on construction projects involving Federal funds. This use was in violation of contractual provisions implementing various domestic preference statutes, often referred to colloquially as the "Buy America" requirements.
Novum agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve civil allegations under the False Claims Act that its conduct caused the submission of false claims for payment. The civil settlement resolves allegations that Novum caused false claims by knowingly—and in violation of its contractual obligations—using noncompliant foreign materials on several federally funded construction projects from Jan. 1, 2004, through July 11, 2013.
The agreement also resolves a criminal Information alleging that Novum repackaged materials and falsified documents relating to some federally funded construction projects in order to hide that they were using noncompliant foreign materials. Novum will plead guilty to concealing a material fact and pay a $500,000 criminal fine.
We are conducting this investigation with the General Services Administration - Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency - Office of Inspector General, Architect of the Capitol - Office of Inspector General, Department of Commerce - Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division.