The United States has entered into a settlement with J Squared Inc., d/b/a University Loft Company, an Indiana-based government contractor that sells furniture to the military. The agreement settles a lawsuit alleging that the firm knowingly violated the Trade Agreements Act (TAA) by selling Malaysian-made furniture to the military and other government purchasers. The TAA contains strict mandates concerning the country of origin for items sold to the United States, which mandates University Loft Company was required to follow according to its contracts with the General Services Administration.
The government became aware of University Loft Company’s practices when the company’s competitor, Furniture by Thurston Inc., filed a False Claims Act suit on behalf of the U.S. government. The Act enables private citizens to bring suit on the government’s behalf and to share in any settlement or jury award. University Loft Company will pay a sizable amount and its competitor—the whistleblower—will receive a share of that recovery.
For the full story, go to the Department of Justice’s press release.