False-claim case settled for $135,000

March 18, 1992

Two Edgewater firms must pay a total of $135,000 to settle a civil lawsuit charging that the companies used false information to charge federal agencies higher prices for data processing equipment than commercial firms paid, officials said yesterday.

Commart Inc. and Commart Distribution Inc., two related firms, violated the federal False Claims Act, the U.S. attorney's office said. The agreement concludes a suit filed in July by prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David I. Salem described the settlement as "equitable to both sides."

He said the General Services Administration awarded Commart Inc. a contract for data processing equipment in 1986 after reviewing company documents that offered discounts of up to 10 percent to commercial customers. The government later learned that the company was affiliated with Commart Distribution, which offered discounts of up to 70 percent to businesses.

He said the agreement does not prevent the company from doing further business with the government.

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