NEW YORK (AP) — Corning Inc., which makes glass used in tablets, TVs and other devices, will pay $5.65 million to settle claims that it knowingly made false statements to the government for laboratory research products, the Justice Department said Friday.
The charges stem from a 2005 contract with federal agencies for laboratory research products through Corning's Life Sciences division.
For the type of contract Corning received, contractors have to disclose commercial pricing policies and practices and abide by contract terms.
The claims alleged that Corning, based in Corning, N.Y., made false statements to the General Services Administration, which administered the contract, about its sales practices and discounts. The Justice Department said Corning did not disclose higher discounts it gave its commercial customers, so the government received lower discounts than commercial customers.
"The failure to make full and accurate disclosures material to the government's contracting processes will not be tolerated," said Stuart F. Delery, principal deputy assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's civil division, in a statement.
The lawsuit was filed by a former Corning Life Sciences sales representative Kevin Jones, who acted as a whistleblower. He will receive $904,000 in the settlement.
Corning spokesman Dan Collins said in an email that in the company's opinion, the case was the result of the government "reinterpreting the requirements of a contract late into the life of the contract," while Corning was "operating under a different interpretation."
"We disagree with the government's reinterpretation but determined it would be best to settle and move on," Collins said.
Corning shares closed up 5 cents at $12.70.