Textile maker to pay US about $500,000 over foreign blankets

December 20, 2022 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island defense contractor that sold woolen blankets to the Army has agreed to pay nearly $500,000 to settle allegations that it violated a law requiring companies that supply the military to manufacture their products in the U.S. using American labor, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The agreement resolves a civil False Claims Act investigation into Woonsocket-based textile manufacturer Hyman Brickle & Son, Inc., also known as The Brickle Group, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Providence.

The company in 2016 sold the blankets to the U.S. Department of Defense, despite knowing that the blankets were produced using labor in India, rather than in the U.S. using American labor, prosecutors said.

Under the Berry Amendment, equipment sold to the Department of Defense must be produced wholly in the U.S.

The $492,236 settlement represents full restitution for the cost of products paid for by the U.S. government and double damages, prosecutors said.

The settlement is not an admission of liability. A voicemail was left with the president of Brickle.