The checks and balances between Defense Contractors and the government agencies responsible to regulate these companies are grossly inadequate. Companies producing military products (weapons, ammunition, vehicles, protective equipment etc. . . for the U.S. Government have always worked in the "gray area" as it relates to the quality of the military products produced and meeting production schedules. Company profits is always paramount, which at times, can be a direct conflict to quality, reliability, and safety. Due to the economy over the past several years, companies have been cutting every corner possible to increase profits. Government inspections and testing is expensive and if companies cut corners here, they put the lives and safety of our service men and women at risk. The employees are scared of losing their jobs therefore there is little to no question to management's instructions, even when they know it is wrong and poses risks to our soldiers. Employees are doing things they never would have done before just to keep their jobs. Clearly these companies are now working in the "black" putting profits secondary to the safety of our service men and women.
Our cause is to support, in any way possible, the employees of these companies that want to do the right thing but don't want to risk everything they have to do it.
This is Our Cause
The government agencies responsible to regulate these defense contractors are under staffed and typically lack the experts with sufficient education and experience necessary to understand the sophisticated quality assurance processes used today.
Something has to be done . . .
The solution has been around for over 150 years; it is called the False Claims Act . . .
History of the False Claims Act
The False Claims Act, also known as the "Lincoln Law," was enacted during the Civil War to combat the fraud perpetrated by companies that sold supplies to the Union Army.
War profiteers were shipping kegs of gun powder half full of sawdust. Boots that were glued and not stitched, so when they got wet feel apart. Tents that were not water proof which forced the Union Army to retreat, losing key battles with the South because of bad weather. Even swindling the Army into purchasing the same cavalry horses several times.
"You can sell anything to the government at almost any price you’ve got the guts to ask," boasted one profiteer who made millions unloading moth-eaten blankets to the military"
President Abraham Lincoln referred to these contractors as "unscrupulous men" willing to do anything for a profit. Lincoln strongly advocated passage of the False Claims Act which contained the "qui tam" provisions that allowed private citizens to sue, on the government’s behalf, companies and individuals that were defrauding the government. "Qui tam" is short for a Latin phrase, "qui tam pro domino rage quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur," which roughly means "he who brings an action for the king as well as for himself." Congress passed the statute on March 2, 1863.
The problem is the False Claims Act is virturally unknown in the industry . . .
Protect The Troops Foundation
The Protect the Troops Foundation was established by the publisher of this website and President of the Prodtect the Troops Foundation, John D. King. John King is a Whistleblower against four defense contractors of the United States Government and currently in a False Claims Act Lawsuit that has just past its sixth year.
John King is an Electrical Engineeer with over 25 years of experience working in the defense, aerospace, and medical device industries as an expert in Quality Assurance. Today he is virtually unemployable in his field now blackballed in the industry after becoming a Whistleblower. In December of 2008, King felt ethically and morally obligated to report his employer for selling critically defective 40mm grenades and bomb fuzes to the government for over several years.
On June 27, 2008, John D. King, as the Quality Assurance Manager of DSE Fuzing, a subsidiary of DSE, Inc., refused to allow shipment of more than 30,000 defective 40mm grenade fuzes even after being told is job depended on it. And, a "critical defect" by the definition of the Department of Defense, "is likely to be hazardous to military personnel".
Three days later King was fired and the fuzes shipped. . .
On June 30, 2008 at 2:00 in the afternoon, John King was fired by the General Manager of DSE Fuzing. The very next day the FBI was at his house inquiring about missing documents. Within 48 hours, King contacted several government contacts he had from his previous employment with the Army and reported the corruption and ongoing fraud he had just witnessed.
John King is now a Whistleblower . . .
Our Mission is to inform and educate industry professionals of the False Claims Act and their rights as a Whistleblower.
Our Mission is to do whatever we can to support the Whistleblower
Our Mission is to assist the Whistleblower in retaining competent and ethical legal representation
Our Mission is to assist the Whistleblower in dealing with the Federal Government and the politics involved with this aspect of the law
Our Mission provide financial assistance to the Whistleblower and only require repayment to the foundation upon a successful recovery
Our Mission is to provide the best subject matter experts in field of Quality Assurance in support of a Whistleblower's lawsuit and of the government in the litegation of these unscrupulous defense contractors.
Our mission is to protect our service men and women from the greed and dishonesty of these corrupt companies
The False Claims Act in Action Today
Case in Point
John D. King/United States of America
DSE, JKS Industries, Kaman and GTI Systems John D. King, on behalf the United States of America filed the initial action and was the original source of the fraud on December 04, 2008. The conspiracies to commit fraud and the fraud that resulted was confirmed by the government's investigations, quality audits, inspections, and testing. The evidence was indisputable and proved with absolute scientific and mathematical certainty that from 2002 through the end of 2013, the defendants committed acts and engaged in activities creating liabilities pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(2) and (3).
The False Claims Act (FCA) states that: Liability for Certain Acts. - Any person who –
a. knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, to an officer or employee of the United States Government or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval;
b. knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the Government;
c. conspires to defraud the Government by getting a false or
fraudulent claim allowed or paid . . .
The Whistleblower, which is referred to as the "Relator" in this law disclosed though his complaint that was filed on December 04, 2008 and in his amended complaint that was filed on December 06, 2010 that the defendants:
a. knowingly submitted, caused to be submitted or facilitated the submission of false and fraudulent documents (including Inspection and Test Records and Certificates of Conformance) to federal agencies.
b. falsely certifying that certain 40 millimeter (“mm”) grenades , components (including fuse ), and its parts (including the “Escapement ”) manufactured for military grenade launchers were performing properly and could be safely used in military combat and during military exercises by military personnel.
c. that many of these grenades, components, and its parts, were not combat-worthy,were unsafe, should not have been used for military combat and/or military exercises, placing, and continue to place military personnel in bodily danger.
d. and that these false and fraudulent documents were submitted to the United States Government accompanied by documents requesting payment and approval.
Relator, John D. King, uncovered serious nonconformance in the manufacturing and quality assurance processes at Defendants, DSE Fuzing and DSE, Inc. Relator was terminated from his position as DES Fuzing’s Quality Assurance Manager because:
a. he was taking actions to force DSE to produce 40 mm grenades, subcomponents, and parts that were not defective and had reported the fraudulent conduct to high-level personnel at Defendant, DSE, Inc., and Defendant, DSE Fuzing, including employees in human resources, and;
b. he refused to falsely certify on the “C of C” forms that the lots being sold to the government met the aforementioned specifications and requirements.
The problems identified by Relator constitute serious and ongoing breakdowns in the quality assurance functions and processes at defendants and posed and continue to pose serious hazards to military personnel. The merits of John King's allegations were proven with absolute certainty by the government and they collected tens of millions of dollars based upon King's False Claims Act lawsuit.
Government Response to King's Allegations
On February 11, 2011, U.S. Representative John Tierney requested the DoD Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conduct an investigation of the reliability and quality control procedures for 40mm grenades procured from DSE, Inc., which produces about 40 percent of the U.S. Army’s 40mm grenades. The request was based on allegations that a major manufacturer of grenades had a series of quality control problems. In the request, Representative Tierney cited a former DSE Fuze subsidiary quality control manager’s (John D. King's) claim that the company had manufacturing problems and produced flawed fuzes for the 40mm grenades.
On February 16, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested that the Army provide information on the alleged production defects and lack of quality control at DSE, Inc.
The following are settlements between the defendants of King's Lawsuit and the government which are indications just how effect the False Claims Act Law can be if properly enforced. Based upon the facts brought to the Department of Justice by John King, the government recoveries include, but are not limited to:
Thus far, we tracked down over $23.1 Million in cash recovered by the goevernment plus a number of $0 contracts that indicate that the government also received non-cash repayments as part of the settlements. This, with absolute scientific and mathmatical certainty that the fraud could have exceeded a billion dollars spread out over a decade.
All this information was part of a Report by the Department of Defense, Inspector Generals Office on the assessment of the DSE's 40mm grenade production capabilities past and present. This report confirmed all of Kiings allegation of fraud and of defective ammunition being sold to the government which was published on August 22, 2013.
More then five years after the fruad was reported by King . . .
It seems this is a text book conclusion to a succussful False Claims Act Lawsuit as President Lincoln intended.
But . . .The Department of Justice has consistently attempts to deny the rights of the Whistleblower to prevent or minimize the Whistleblowers share of the recoveries by the government. The Whistleblower is the original source of the fraud, who takes all the risks and typically loses everything in the process including their career. The Qui Tam provision of the False Claims Act rewards the Whistleblower between 18% and 30% of what the government recovers based upon the facts provided by the Whistleblower. The reward to a private citizen is large because of the enormous risks taken and the longshot for being compensated for their loss.
This type of resistance for the Department of Justice to comply with the terms of the False Claims Act is clearly evident in the John King FCA Lawsuit. After almost 5 years in litigation, Kings lawsuit was dismissed over legal loop holds and unethical tactics by lawyers of both sides of the line of scrimmage. All positioning themselves for a piece of pie.
John King was forced to do his own appeal and during the appeal, he discovered several settlements between the defendants in his lawsuit and the government. King was never notified of these settlements as they occurred by either his attorneys or the government. This lawsuit should have ended more than two and a half years prior to the case being dismissed.
How does a lawsuit get dismissed two years after it is setttled . . .
King discovered these settlements during the appeal process berried in over 200,000 pages of documents filed in federal court by the defendants. Most of these documents filed by the defendants were completely irrelevant, duplicated, and/or altered. They purposely made a hey stack of documents to hid needless like these settlements in to say they disclosed this information but making it virtually impossible to find.
The corruption was virtually in every aspect of this case. Attorney's on all sides clearly were working together to ensure this case never went to trial. All the scientific data supports that 50,000,000 grenades were sold to the government with unacceptable numbers of defects in each lot at a cost to the American People of more than $1.1 Billion.
In the time after the government settlements, King became the total focus of the defense. The merit of the case was undeniable, so the "disinterested parties" waged a multi-front and organized character assignation on King from those in and out of his most inner circles.
More than two and a half years after the government recovered tens, possibly hundreds of millions of dollars because of King's lawsuit, he has not received a dime.
After becoming a Whistleblower, King lost everything . . .
Mr. King lost his 4 bedroom pool home of 13 years, all of its content, his vehicles, everything after doing the right thing as a patriot to his country. He hasn't seen or spoke to his now 13 year old daughter in a year and a half and found himself homeless for the very first time. Homeless after having a successful 25 year career as an expert in Quality Assurance and never collecting unemployement a single time prior to 2008.
Read about the behind the scene, day to day experiences of a whistleblower who uncovered a billion dollars in faud in the book "Laying on the Sword" by John D. King.
Laying on the Sword . . .
A Preamble to the book "Laying on the Sword" by John D. King
I'm an Electrical Engineer, a graduate from the University of South Florida in 1984. I have over 25 years of experience in the defense and aerospace industry, specializing in the quality assurance of military products.
After graduation and a short tenure working as Field Engineer on off-shore oil rigs, I was hired by the Martin Marietta - Missle Systems Group in Orlando in June of 1985. I worked designing computer aided test equipment on projects such as the Patriot Missile, Hell Fire Missile, Cooper Head Missile and other advanced laser optic devices.
I then worked with Northern Telecom - The Microelectronics Divison from 1990 until 1996 as a Manufacturing Engineer and then as the Quality Assurance Manager. I developed and then supported all the quality assurance processes for various telecommunication projects and products while at NORTEL.
In 1996 I started my own consultant business, Integrated Technologies Group, working in all aspects of Quality Assurance and Manufacturing. I specialized in the development of ISO9000 Quality Management Systems, advanced statistical analysis of manufacturing, inspection, and test processes. I worked for companies such as General Dynamics, Harris Corporation, UNITEC, Lockheed Martin, NORTEL, Kaman Corporation, the United States Army and Department of Defense to name a few. I was hired as a trouble shooter and problem solver by companies or customers of companies having quality control problems with the products they produced or purchased.
I was considered top in my field . . .
The economy tanked in 2008 and my consulting business slowed down considerably. I started looking for a local full time job with benefits, basically getting a "real job" again after working for myself as long as I did. But most importantly, I didn't want to live on the road anymore because of my then seven year old daughter named Madison. She lived with her mother in DeBary and is most certainly the love of my life and my best friend (when I got to see her). Marie, my ex, hates me for no real reason other than I no longer wanted to be with her and support her. After we broke up, she actually had to get a job and support herself. For this, she tortures me using my precious daughter as a weapon. I was also behind in my mortgage and dealing with the personal problems associated with an unmanageable life and once again single. I drank too much and could not stop.
I had been sober now 118 days and this being my third try this year. I went to meetings everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. Jamie was my sponsor, he owned a dry wall business. The fog was beinging to lift and the only thing Jamie had me focused on was:
I was told don't drink, go to meetings, and pray for Gods will and the power to carry it out. . . .
It pretty much was the only three things I could focus on in any given day, except for my work. I was a workaholic and very good at what I did.
I was certainly at my bottom . . .
In April of 2008 during my search for employment in the Orlando area I came across an opening for the Quality Assurance Manager's job at DSE Fuzing. The address was the old Kaman Dayron plant off Colonial. I worked for Kaman as a consultant in 2005 with my client/friend Bob, who was the Quality Manager their at that time. I worked for Bon on several projects for several companies in the years past. Where ever he moved to I worked for him, he would buy my custom QA software and consultant services and we played a lot of golf. I paid for it of course, but that is how it worked.
When I told Bob I was interviewing with DSE, he told me I was out of my mind. We both knew it was the worse place we had ever worked as it related to quality. Bob said I would be better suited to get a blue vest and be a Walmart greeter, but I needed the money. I told him "this is what I do, I turn companies around". I also said, I would do the best I could, collect a check, and wait until something better came around.
So that is what I did . . .
I was hired by DSE, Inc. in April of 2008 as their Quality Assurance Manager. Kaman Dayron and then DSE was under intense scrutiny by the government and the M549A1 production line was shut down due to defective product isssues But, when I was hired in 2008 I was never informed of that and only discovered that in course of this lawsuit. Imagine that, there is complete shutdown of a key product, doing recall and a new Quality Manager is hired and never told of this.
And, I was to implement an ISO9000 Quality Management System that was mandated by the government contracts involved.
The 40mm Grenade
The United States Army has created a plethora of different types of 40 mm grenades in both the low velocity 40×46 mm and high velocity 40×53 mm calibers which uses what it calls High-Low Propulsion System which keeps recoil forces within the boundaries of infantry weaponThe United States Army has created a plethora of different types of 40 mm grenades in both the low velocity 40×46 mm and high velocity 40×53 mm calibers which uses what it calls High-Low Propulsion System which keeps recoil forces within the boundaries of infantry weapon.
The 40mm grenade and grenade lauchers were depicted in Hollywood movies such as Terminator 2 - Judgement Day and Rambo.
M433 Grenade / M79 Grenade Launcher
M433 Grenade / MM1 Grenade Launcher
M549A1 Grenade / M203 Grenade Launcher attached to the AKM rifle
Devastating Fire Power of the M433 - High Energy Dual Purpose (HEDP) 40mm Grenade
Working at DSE
When I arrived at the DSE Fuzing plant at the end of April in 2008, I have likened it to performing triage at a MASH unit on the front line. DSE produced the 40mm grenade components, fuzes and grenades prior to 2002. Then sold the Dayron plant to Kaman, thus becoming Kaman Dayron. Kaman Dayron produced the 40 mm fuzes and bunker buster fuzes between 2002 and 2007. The entire time Kaman owned the fuze plant, they had significant quality issues, even had been under investigation by the Department of Justice for fraud and corruption. But, the government did not have sufficient evidence for an indictment until I brought the details of the fraudulent schemes used by the defendants to cheat the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prior to being hired in 2008, DSE had just taken back the production line of 40mm grenade fuzes from Kaman while under intense scrutiny by the government for quality issues. Kaman was the sole source of the 40mm fuze and vital to DSE's ability to ship 40mm grenades and clearly wanted out. Both DSE and Kaman were behind schedule and shipping everything in sight. As the Quality Manager, I handed out red sharpie pens telling the inspectors to mark the defects as obvious as possible to prevent shipment. I would put entire lots of grenade fuzes on hold and would personally put red tags all over the boxes and on each pallet of defective fuzes trying hold shipments. Continuously, defective fuzes and components of the 40mm grenades would be shipped the following day before I came into work. There was absolutely no quality control in the facility what so ever.
It was ship at all costs . . .
I did everything humanly possible to prevent defective fuzes from being shipped but it was impossible. No matter what I said or did, product shipped. And, I was the Quality Manager who always has final say in whether or not product ships, that is always our total and complete responsibility. It was my job and my responsibility, but not at DSE.
I began complaining to Bud, the General Manager of DSE, of the defective parts being purchased from outside sources, being used anyway and critically defective fuzes being shipped. Crucial inspections and tests were being short cut, faked or skipped entirely. The inspectors would just Christmas treeing the test forms not even knowing what they were writing down and why.
I never saw anything like it in 25 years . . .
But, what was the deciding factor in the decision that would have to make that change my life forever is what I observed on the test range. DSE was flute out cheating on the government tests by x-raying the parts prior to going to test and then removing the defects. It is called "cherry picking the lot". This was confirmed by the government based upon my complaint with this Level III CAR issued by DCMA.
And even then, I witnessed over 5% of the grenades tested at the range were defective and nonfunctional. The grenades would either fail to explode on impact "duds" or worse would explode prematurely within the safety zone and even in mid air.
I only worked for DSE for ten weeks and as part of my recovery from alcoholism, I was told to prayed for Gods will and the power to carry it out.
And, I did . . .
Immediately following the two days I spent at the test range, I fired off an email to three directors of the corporation about the critically defective ammunition about to be shipped. All of whom reported directly to the President and CEO of DSE. This memo was proven to completely accurate over the next five years from detailed investigations by the US Army, Department of Justice and the Department of Defenses. This is a copy of the memorandum of concerns.
Three Days Later I Was Fired . . .
I won't sure about a lot at that time, but I knew it was not Gods will for me to sign off on the release of these critically defective grenades or just walk away from this without trying to do something about it. These companies have been corrupt for years and I felt it my patriotic duty and Gods will for me to report the fraud to the Department of Justice.
I became a whistleblower and hadn't even realized it . . .
Becoming a Whistleblower
But one thing I will always know, is that I did this for the right reason. Because it was the right thing to do at all costs. Lives were being lost unnecessarily, the Army was getting ripped off and it pissed me off. But the beautiful thing is that up until then, I had never heard of the False Claims Act. No one I asked in the industry had ever heard of the False Claims Act. Simply, the FCA entitles the whistleblower to a share of whatever the government recovers based upon the facts of the Whistleblower.
All I knew is that Whistleblowers don't work . . .
The Complaint for the violation of the False Claims Act was filed by the attorney's of John D. King and on behave of the United States of America. The complaint was filed in federal court in the Middle District of Florida on December 04, 2008.
I knew I was risking everything, including my career, but I felt I had no other options. Since becoming a Whistleblower of these corrupt companies, I have been "Blackballed" in the Industry, fired three times in two years after my employers found out who I was. There was as an organized character assignation of me from every vantage point possible in and outside my most inner circles. People came into my life, weren't who that claimed to be, accused me of crimes I did not commit, put in jail four times, all seemed to be after a "piece of the pie". The lawyers.The Lawyers, Don't get me started about the lawyers . . .
Lawyers on both sides of the line of scrimmage were all working to ensure this case never saw the inside of a court room. It would have been a scandal of immense proportion. The corruption was everywhere, in every aspect of the lawsuit. To read the details of this amazing story, you can follow along as I release chapter by chapter on this site available to members of the foundation.
ABC News Reports
There were three ABC News reports that ran on this case in2011 by Tampa Bay's WFTS-TV with Alan Cohn reporting. Cohn did an excellent job reporting the facts from both my perspective as the whistle blower, the governments position and that of General Jonathan Maddux of the United States Army. These reports accurately described the corruption, fraud and the delivery of critically defective 40mm grenades over many years by these companies. But most importantly for my case, Cohn's interview with General Maddux made the US Army's position on the matter very clear. General Maddux crossed political lines and endorsed me and my credibility as a whistle blower that exposed the fraud being committed by these companies. The first story ran on February 03, 2011 reported by Alan Cohn.
Former employee alleges military contractor is selling faulty grenades to the U.S. Army
The report addressed a whistleblower lawsuit containing accusations from
John King, the former manager of quality assurance at DSE Inc.’s Orlando
subsidiary, that defective parts were making their way into grenade
We also reported that a Department of Justice filing in the case included stated that an audit appeared “to confirm at least some of King’s (the realtor’s) allegations.”
The government, however, declined to join King in his lawsuit against DSE. Government lawyers have reserved the right to rejoin the case, stating “Our decision not to intervene” should not be construed as a statement about the merits of the case.”
If King is successful in winning his “whistle blower” lawsuit both he and the government could be awarded monetary damages from DSE and other companies.
Read this first ABC News story that ran on February 03, 2011 in it's entirety by clicking the following link.
The second ABC News Story ran on the following day on February 04, 2011.
ABC Action News investigation results in Army probe of grenade manufactuer DSE
But in an exclusive interview with ABC Action News, the former manager of quality assurance for the company's fuze division described his battle with the company over defective parts.
"The first and most dangerous aspect of a defective fuze is what's called a short fuze, which means it prematurely arms itself, or worse, it's armed from the factory," said John King.
ABC Action News obtained documents from the Army
showing five Marines were injured during a 2009 training exercise where
a 40mm exploded prematurely. Although the military couldn't say
definitively which supplier
manufactured the defective grenade, half the lots used that day came from DSE.
King has filed a "Whistle Blower" lawsuit and has
met with representatives of the Army, the Pentagon, and the
"I laid it all out. I did a technical analysis of what they should have been doing, what they were not doing. I laid out the key problem of processes within the facility," King said.
But the Army continues to buy grenades from DSE, and awarded the company a new four-year, $22 million contract last February.
Read this second ABC News story that ran on February 04, 2011 in it's entirety by clicking the following link.
The third ABC News story ran on May 05, 2011 and this this is when General Maddux invites reporter Alan Cohen to Pictiny Arsenal to give this interview. General Maddux states me by name as the orginal source of the information that defective grenades were being sold to the US Army for at least five years prior to my employment of 2008. In May of 2011, two years after I reported the fraud to the government, the Army found 98% of the 40mm grenades inspectied were defective.
DSE Fuzing, the company accused of selling faulty grenades to the military, is moving out of Florida
The Tampa based company says its fuze division, which has been the focus of a lot of attention by the Defense Department over concerns about quality control, is moving to a new state-of-the-art facility in South Carolina.
The Orlando plant, which makes fuzes for 40mm grenades manufactured by Tampa based DSE Incorporated, has been under intense scrutiny.
As the I-TEAM was first to report in February, DSE Fuzing's former manager of quality assurance has filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit claiming defective parts were slipping through the production line and into grenades.
On General Jonathan Maddux told us what happened when the parts in question, called detents, were tested in the labs here on the base.
"We the government took that information Mr.
King had and looked into that incident and found 158 out of 160 rounds
that we tore apart and did some very minute examinations of. We found
158 out of 160 parts did not
meet our specific drawings in our technical data package," Maddux says.
"Where are they today?” We asked. “Those lots have been quarantined. They have been given a code meaning no one can use them. They will be destroyed in the long term," Maddux told us.
The Army says it has invoked a contract warranty clause and is demanding DSE pay the government back an undetermined amount of money.
Read this third ABC News story that ran on May 05, 2011 in it's entirety by clicking the following link.
Read more about the trials and tribulations of John King after becoming a Whistleblower after exposinig upwards of $1Billion in Fraud against the United States of America by four corrupt defense contractors at . . .
a book by John D. King after becoming a Whistleblower