September 18, 2013 Updated: September 19, 2013 at 8:43 am
A Colorado Springs security contractor has agreed to pay $2.08 million to the federal government to settle allegations that it submitted false claims for its work combatting roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Macalan Group Inc., formerly known as NEK Advanced Securities Group, also has agreed to relinquish an outstanding invoice of $744,969 and turn over numerous weapons and accessories it had acquired under its contract, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver, which announced the settlement.
Macalan representatives didn't return a telephone call Wednesday seeking comment. Macalan's website said the company was founded in 2012 by owner Bruce Parkman after the divestment of NEK Advanced Securities, a firm he had started a decade earlier. The website describes Parkman as "a retired, disabled Special Forces Sergeant Major" who "started NEK on his mortgaged house and a $250,000 SBA loan."
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, NEK had a contract with the Joint IED Defeat Organization, which was created by the Department of Defense in 2006 to battle improvised explosive devices. The organization was launched in response to the escalating use of IEDs in Iraq.
As part of its contract, NEK was required "to develop and deploy teams of specialized personnel to Iraq and Afghanistan to combat improvised explosive devices," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
However, the federal government alleged that NEK "submitted false invoices for payment in connection with this contract that claimed excessive or unallowable costs," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The false invoices were submitted over several years.
"No government contract is more important than one that supports the security efforts of our nation overseas," U.S. Attorney John Walsh said in a news release. "When a contractor fails to bill by the contract rules set up to protect American taxpayers, our office will diligently and aggressively seek to recover any losses, as this case demonstrates."
The settlement agreement doesn't say whether Macalan remains a DOD contractor.
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