Military subcontractor Bristol Alloys charged with fraud

Brief Case

In the Region

Boeing to consolidate divisions
Boeing Co. is slimming down its military aircraft business and cutting workers as the government moves to cut military spending. It will consolidate six divisions into four, including one in Delaware County. Boeing will cut jobs, starting with 10 percent of the group’s executives. It is not saying how many more workers will lose jobs. Boeing said in July that layoffs were likely because of expected government spending cuts. Starting Oct. 1, the new divisions will be Ridley Park, Delaware County-based mobility; St. Louis-based global strike; Seattle-based surveillance and engagement; and St. Charles, Mo.-based missiles and unmanned airborne systems. – AP

Bucks firm charged with fraud

Bristol Alloys Inc., Fairless Hills, and its president, James Bullick, were charged Tuesday with one count of major fraud against the United States. The company sells and distributes steel and other metals to manufacturers including U.S. Navy subcontractors. According to the criminal information filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Bristol Alloys and Bullick, 42, fraudulently supplied a Willingboro Navy subcontractor, Garvey Precision Machine Inc., with metal that did not conform to military specifications and provided counterfeit certifications. Garvey Precision supplied parts used to build, among others, Virginia Class submarines, according to the case investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Pease. “James Bullick and Bristol Alloys are doing everything within their powers to cooperate with the government to try to help find any nonconforming steel that made its way to the Navy, and he will continue to do so,” attorney Michael Diamondstein, who represents Bullick, said Tuesday. A criminal information means a defendant has waived indictment by a federal grand jury and is usually considered the prelude to a guilty plea. – Suzette Parmley

Airgas gets advisory group boost

Glass Lewis & Co., which makes recommendations on how institutional investors should vote their shares, gave Airgas Inc., Radnor, a boost in its fight against Air Products & Chemicals Inc.’s hostile takeover attempt. The proxy advisory firm recommended that investors vote for Airgas’ incumbent directors, including company founder and chairman Peter McCausland, not for the slate nominated by Air Products, which on Monday boosted its bid for Airgas to $65.50 per share from $63.50. Glass Lewis also advised investors to vote against several Air Products proposals that would aid its takeover attempt, according to a copy of the Glass Lewis report provided by Airgas’ communications firm.- Harold Brubaker

Insurers’ warrants to be auctioned

The government said it would auction warrants it received from two insurers, including a Radnor company, as part of its efforts to recoup costs of the $700 billion financial bailout. The Treasury Department said it would auction warrants of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Lincoln National Corp., Radnor, over the next several weeks. A warrant gives the purchaser the right to buy common stock at a fixed price. The government obtained the warrants when it provided Hartford Financial, Lincoln National and several other life insurers with billions of dollars in the spring of 2009 to help them shore up their capital positions after big investment losses. Sale of the warrants will sever the remaining ties the two insurers have to the bailout fund. – AP

QuantRx CEO leaves firm

QuantRx Biomedical Corp., which is moving its headquarters from Doylestown to Portland, Ore., said Tuesday that CEO and chairman Walter Witoshkin had left the firm. A company spokesman said Witoshkin “maintains board-level seats for a number of companies in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and he will be exploring ways in which to become more actively involved to assist these start-up companies with their growth initiatives.” The spokesman said the local staff consisted of six to 10 people; none is remaining in Pennsylvania. – Roslyn Rudolph


$48M to settle whistleblower suit

Cisco Systems Inc., the networking-

equipment maker, and Westcon Group North America agreed to pay $48 million to settle claims that they overcharged the U.S. government, the Justice Department said. The settlement resolves claims that Cisco and Westcon, a Cisco distributor, overcharged taxpayers through a General Services Administration contract. The accord settles a lawsuit filed by whistleblowers Norman Rille and Neal Roberts in Little Rock, Ark. A Cisco spokeswoman said the company was “very pleased” to resolve the case. Jeff Touzeau, a Westcon Group spokesman, didn’t return a call seeking comment. – Bloomberg News

EU creates new oversight bodies

European Union nations agreed to create new financial-oversight institutions to prevent a repeat of the government debt crisis last spring that nearly left Greece bankrupt and brought the European banking system to its knees. The systemic-risk board, the principal new body backed by the 27 finance ministers, will demand a more transparent sharing of government budgetary information. The ministers also agreed to give Greece the next $11.5 billion in bailout funds. Greece received an initial $140 billion. – AP

Rates fall for short-term bills

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Tuesday’s auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.135 percent, down from 0.145 percent last week. Another $30 billion was auctioned in six-month bills at a discount rate of 0.180 percent, down from 0.190 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,996.59 while a six-month bill sold for $9,990.90. The auction was held on Tuesday instead of Monday because of the Labor Day holiday. – AP

Yield falls for one-year bills

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, fell to 0.25 percent last week from 0.26 percent the previous week. – AP

CHRISTOPHE ENA / Associated Press