August 16, 2021
Michigan Research and Development Firm Agrees to Civil Settlement
On August 16, 2021, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan entered into a civil settlement agreement with Metna Co., a Michigan-based research and development firm. Metna agreed to 2 years of Governmentwide exclusions from Federal contracting and financial assistance and to pay $500,000 to resolve civil allegations under the False Claims Act. According to the settlement agreement, Metna concealed its use of underpaid foreign graduate students—who were ineligible to work at Metna under their visa restrictions—to fraudulently obtain Small Business Innovation Research program contracts from the U.S. Army. The settlement agreement is neither an admission of Metna’s liability nor a concession by the United States that its claims were not well founded.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and Environmental Protection Agency-OIG.