Defense contractor fraud has existed since America's earliest years. During the Civil War, military suppliers defrauded the government and potentially put soldiers' lives at risk by selling boots made from cardboard, clothing made from dry rotted cloth, blind and decrepit horses, and rotted ships' hulls painted to look like new. Worse, these fraudsters sold them bullets filled with sawdust instead of gunpowder.
Today's defense contracting fraudsters continue to mislead our government about the cost and quality of military supplies. For example, "new" and vital parts supplied to a nuclear submarine may actually be refurbished parts that are substandard, yet may look new. These substandard parts could potentially jeopardize the lives of our sailors and others.
In 2018, 3M was forced to pay the U.S. government $9.1 million dollars for selling earplugs to the U.S. military that the company knew had design defects that would not protect the hearing of many of the military personnel who used them.
In 2008, a division of General Dynamics was accused of making defective parts and failing to adequately test parts for Navy aircraft and nuclear submarines. Yet they sold them to the military fully knowing these parts were not up to strict Department of Defense safety standards. For their unscrupulous conduct that posed potential dangers to our sailors and pilots, the company was ordered to pay more than $4 million.