Lockheed Martin Settles with US Government for $16 Million

Lockheed Martin, a long-time defense contractor, was accused by the federal government of misrepresenting the cost of tools used to build the F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.  Allegedly, Lockheed subcontracted out some of the work and that subcontractor inflated the price of tools, a number that Lockheed passed on to the government despite knowing of its inaccuracy.  Last Friday, Lockheed agreed to pay the government $16 million to settle the suit.  The company denies any wrongdoing, claiming that they settled the suit “in an effort to close the matter in a timely manner”.

Is this case a simple mistake in accounting?  Or was Lockheed Martin caught trying to fleece the government?  I guess now we’ll never know.  But, important to keep in mind is that this is the infamously-expensive F-22 we’re talking about here, a veritable poster child for government graft.  Defense contracts are also often swollen with overpriced items as a way to ensure that a critical $200 screwdriver doesn’t fail.  The reasoning being that, if it does fail, they can go in and say “hey, we paid $200 for this $5 screwdriver so that it would be perfect, what happened?”  Maybe Lockheed just went a little overboard this time.  Maybe Al Gore needs to step in and start smashing some F-22 tools on Letterman before someone takes notice.

Read more in the original story by the Silicon Valley Bizblog.

Five Largest Mortgage Banks Reach $25 Billion Settlement

A foreclosed home
Foreclosures ran rampant throughout the country

Last Thursday, the federal government and 49 state attorneys general announced that they have come to an agreement with five large mortgage providers over allegations concerning illegal business practices.  The five banks (Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) were accused of a lack of due diligence when creating and signing documents related to foreclosures.  The $25 billion settlement, which guarantees that the case will not go to court, is the largest multistate settlement since the 1998 tobacco industry case.  All states except Oklahoma participated.

It is important to note that, though this marks a major victory for those affected by the mortgage crisis, some individual claims may still be eligible to made against the companies.  To find out how you or your home mortgage can benefit from this settlement, visit the settlement’s web page.