Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
“Department of Justice”
Aerojet Rocketdyne Agrees to Pay $9 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations of Cybersecurity Violations in Federal Government Contracts

WASHINGTON (Department of Justice PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., headquartered in El Segundo, California, has agreed to pay $9 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting its compliance with cybersecurity requirements in certain federal government contracts, the Justice Department announced today. Aerojet provides propulsion and power systems for launch vehicles, missiles and satellites and other space vehicles to the Department of Defense, NASA and other federal agencies. 

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed and litigated by former Aerojet employee Brian Markus against Aerojet under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit a private party (known as a relator) to file a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. Mr. Markus and Aerojet reached a settlement of the case on the second day of trial. Mr. Markus will receive $2.61 million as his share of the False Claims Act recovery. 

“Whistleblowers with inside information and technical expertise can provide crucial assistance in identifying knowing cybersecurity failures and misconduct,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. 

  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 9, 2022
Lawsuit Filed Against Pratt & Whitney and Other Aerospace Companies Over Illegal No-Poach Hiring Agreements

HARTFORD, Conn. (Joseph Saveri Law Firm PR) — The Joseph Saveri Law Firm, one of the country’s leading antitrust firms, filed a class action complaint Friday against Pratt & Whitney and other aerospace companies, alleging those companies entered and maintained no-poach hiring agreements for nearly a decade, if not longer. Pratt & Whitney is a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corporation.

No-poach agreements are agreements between otherwise competing employers not to recruit or hire one another’s employees. No-poach agreements are usually kept secret, creating information imbalance, and preventing employees from negotiating higher salaries and more favorable employment terms. For these reasons and others, no-poach agreements are inherently illegal under United States antitrust laws. They are detrimental to labor markets as they suppress employee compensation and reduce job mobility for workers.

  • Parabolic Arc
  • January 10, 2022
Senior NASA Employee Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Related Loan Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (DOJ PR) – A Senior Executive Service (SES) employee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) pleaded guilty today to submitting fraudulent applications for over $350,000 in COVID-19 economic relief loans and benefits.

“Despite holding a senior executive position at NASA, the defendant applied for over $350,000 in fraudulent loans and benefits,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “In doing so, he essentially treated COVID-19 relief programs as a personal piggy bank, using funds intended to provide pandemic relief for small businesses and the unemployed to pay down his credit card debt, pay off loans for a residential pool and minivan, and pay a dog-breeder, among other personal expenses. EDVA will continue to hold accountable individuals who exploit a national economic crisis in order to unlawfully enrich themselves at the expense of those in genuine need due to the pandemic.”

  • Parabolic Arc
  • April 20, 2021
Senior NASA Scientist Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements Related To Chinese Thousand Talents Program Participation And Professorship

NEW YORK (Department of Justice PR) — Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (“USAO”), William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Mark J. Zielinski, Special Agent in Charge of the Eastern Field Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Office of Inspector General (“NASA OIG”), announced that MEYYA MEYYAPPAN, a senior NASA scientist, pled guilty today to making false statements to the FBI, NASA OIG, and the USAO.  MEYYAPPAN pled guilty in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Meyya Meyyappan held a trusted position at NASA, with access to valuable intellectual property.  In violation of the terms of his employment and relevant laws and regulations, Meyyappan failed to disclose participation in a Chinese government recruitment program, and subsequently lied about it to NASA investigators, FBI agents, and our Office.  Now, having admitted his crime, Meyyappan awaits sentencing.”

  • Parabolic Arc
  • January 14, 2021