SAN DIEGO, 18 February 2021 – A contractor has pleaded guilty to selling substandard concrete, which was used in building airfields in U.S. Navy bases in Djibouti.
The guilty plea was made Wednesday before a federal judge in San Diego, USA, by Colas Djibouti, A French limited liability company, which also pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud.
The company agreed to pay $12.5 million for making fraudulent representations regarding the quality of its concrete.
The plea deal means the company will forfeit $8 million, pay $2 million in restitution to the Department of Navy and another $2.5 million in penalties.
Prosecutors said the company was aware that its concrete was prone to early cracking, surface defects and that it permitted easy corrosion of embedded steel.
The falsehoods told by the company included claiming that the water quality they used to mix their concrete matched the quality of store-bought bottle drinking water.
“Our sailors and Marines depend upon high-quality products and services from our Department of the Navy contractors in order to meet the department’s worldwide mission,” said acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker, adding that the Department of the Navy will continue to demand that contractors meet the best and most rigorous standards.