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Settlements reached in Stennis whistleblower case

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Justice Department said two companies and three individuals have agreed to pay $22.6 million as part of a whistleblower lawsuit that accused them of rigging a contract at Stennis Space Center.

The 2009 lawsuit, filed in federal court in Mississippi, claimed three current or former federal employees conspired to steer a computer contract to a team of companies that included Lockheed, which is based in Bethesda, Md., San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. and Applied Enterprise Solutions, based in Slidell, La.

The Justice Department contended Stephen Adamec and Robert Knesel, a former director and a deputy director of the Naval Oceanographic Major Shared Resource Center at Stennis, provided secret information about the bidding process.

Applied Enterprise Solutions was run by Haskin Dale Galloway, a former federal employee, who the Justice Department said conspired with the others to steer the contract to Science Applications International.

The Justice Department said Science Applications International got a $115-million contract and Lockheed’s portion was $2 million through a subcontract. Lockheed paid the government $2 million in January to settle the case.

The Justice Department announced yesterday that SAIC would pay $20.4 million; AES and Galloway would pay $2.16 million; while Adamec and Knesel are paying $110,000.

The whistleblower, government employee David Magee, will receive $560,000 for his role in bringing the case to the attention of authorities, the Justice Department has said.

“We expect those who contract for the privilege of doing the public’s business to act fairly and abide by the rules, not game the system to get undeserved taxpayer dollars for themselves and their friends,” Tony West, an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement.

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