Spirit Lake firm won $74M contract despite probe

A business owned by the Spirit Lake Nation of North Dakota received a $74 million federal contract despite being under investigation for allegedly producing inadequate armor for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The contract came just 12 days before Sioux Manufacturing Corp. settled a false claims lawsuit with the Department of Justice. Though the company admitted no wrongdoing, it paid nearly $2 million in order to end the investigation.

The case began when two former employees said the company failed to meet government standards for soldiers' helmets. They said the kevlar used for the helmets was not woven correctly and could lead to deaths.

Under the False Claims Act, Jeff Kenner and Tamra Elshaug will share $406,350 from the settlement. They had alleged SMC owed $159 million in damages to the government.

Get the Story:
Manufacturer in $2 Million Accord With U.S. on Deficient Kevlar in Military Helmets (The New York Times 2/7)

Relevant Links:
Sioux Manufacturing Corp - http://www.siouxmanufacturing.com
Spirit Lake Nation - http://www.spiritlakenation.com

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