Washington, D.C. December 15, 2009. Whistleblower Jerry W. Gibbs, now
deceased, of Mary Esther, Florida, has won a rare victory over a
defense contractor accused of double billing the government. Recently,
an out of court settlement was reached between the United States
government, Mr. Gibbs’ widow and Manufacturing Technology, Inc. (MTI) in
the amount of $758,000, plus $96,000 for attorneys’ fees, to resolve a qui tam
False Claims Act case that Mr. Gibbs filed on behalf of the United
States in federal court in Washington, D.C. against MTI. See U.S. ex.
rel. Gibbs v. M TI, et al., Civil Action No. 05-344 (D.D.C.) (RWR). The
False Claims Act required that this case be filed under seal and the
court recently lifted the seal on the case after approving the
Mr. Gibbs alleged on behalf of U.S. taxpayers that
MTI, of Fort Walton Florida, falsely billed the Air Force for work it
did to develop a data base product for commercial use.
Unfortunately, Jerry Gibbs died on December 15, 2008 after a long illness, more than three years after he filed his case.
the settlement, Mr. Gibbs’ estate and his wife, Barbara Gibbs, are to
receive a percentage share of the settlement, plus attorneys fees. Most
of the settlement money goes to the U.S. government.
said, “I have always been very proud of Jerry’s commitment to
excellence. His intent was to do the best possible job for our
government, and for the women and men who serve on our behalf. I believe
that his persistence and hard work to ensure prevailing in this suit
illustrates his dedication to our country and its citizens.”
“This case shows how the qui tam
provisions of the False Claims Act can be used to fight many kinds of
abuses by contractors. We are excited to see a settlement that
vindicates Mr. Gibbs’ allegations, but we very much regret that Mr.
Gibbs was not able to see this day,” said David K. Colapinto, attorney
for Mr. Gibbs.
Jerry Gibbs was the key executive who initially
developed a database product that tracks electronic computer parts or
“chips” used in Air Force systems. Mr. Gibbs conceived the idea of
making a commercial application of this parts management tool as well.
Then Jerry Gibbs became the classic insider/whistleblower. Based on his
experience working for the company he claimed that MTI was billing labor
to government contracts for work being done to develop the product for
private commercial use. The Department of Justice investigated Mr.
Gibbs’ allegations for about four years before reaching a settlement.
Mr. Gibbs met numerous times with the government and provided his
expertise to explain his allegations against MTI. His health and his
career suffered, but he continued to work with the government to help
the investigation that led to this settlement.
legacy will be that defense contractors will not be able to double and
triple bill the government so easily in the future,” said Mr. Colapinto.
Background Information on Mr. Gibbs
Winfield Gibbs graduated from the University of Tennessee with a
Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering in 1959. He was a Research
Assistant in the MSEE Graduate program at the University of Tennessee
from 1960 to 1961, focusing on Electronically Scanned Circular Arrays.
began his career with RCA in 1961, assuming video design responsibility
for NIMBUS and Ranger satellites. Upon joining Honeywell he
participated in digital accelerometer and guidance system design. With
both technical and sales and marketing expertise, Mr. Gibbs began his
long career in the emerging semiconductor and integrated circuit
industry with ITT. He went on to hold strategic marketing and marketing
and sales positions with national and international corporations such as
National Semiconductor, Teledyne Semiconductor, Zilog and Northern
The last fifteen years of Mr. Gibbs’ career drew on his
in-depth knowledge of the semiconductor industry from its inception when
he defined and designed AVCOM. Originally a DMS (Diminishing
Manufacturing Sources) tool for the F-15 group at Warner-Robins Air
Force Base, it ultimately became the Air Force standard for DMS parts
management. Mr. Gibbs participated in the DMS Program development for
the F-15 beginning in 1990 and was a member of the DMS Integrated
Product Team (IPT). He was an active participant in the DMS community,
regularly contributing to conferences and committees and presenting
papers on both national and international levels. Building on the
success of AVCOM, Mr. Gibbs conceived Total Parts Plus, a commercial
version of the powerful Air Force parts management tool.
Mr. Gibbs is survived by his three children and four grandchildren, and by his wife, Barbara.