The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Össur Americas, Foothill Ranch, California, paid the United States $500,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Buy American Act. Össur supplied the U.S. Army with hundreds of foreign-made prosthetic, bracing, and support products for wounded soldiers while falsely certifying that all of its products were manufactured in the United States as required by federal law and its contracts with the military. Össur paid the money March 26 pursuant to a settlement agreement that resolves allegations that it had violated the federal False Claims Act by falsely certifying compliance with the Buy American Act. The alleged conduct took place in 2005 and 2006.
The Buy American Act generally prohibits federal government agencies from purchasing foreign-made products, and Össur’s compliance with the act was expressly required by its contracts with the Army. Össur became aware that it had made the prohibited sales in early 2006, and entered the U.S. Department of Defense’s Voluntary Disclosure Program in December 2006, according to the DOJ press release. The government subsequently investigated Össur’s disclosure. In conjunction with Össur’s voluntary disclosure, the company instituted a series of compliance measures, including distribution of instruction sheets to sales representatives and training for management officials, to ensure future compliance with the Buy American Act.
“We are glad that we have been able to resolve this matter,” said Jon Sigurdsson, president and CEO of Össur. “Össur is committed to complying with the Buy American Act….”