ORLANDO, Fla.—A government contractor that oversees the vehicle fleet for the Kennedy Space Center said it will fight the federal government's charges that the company and its subcontractor committed fraud in selling tires to that fleet.
The Sept. 2 lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the General Services Administration is “unwarranted,” according to a spokesman for Germantown, Md.-based URS Federal Services Inc.
URS holds a $1.461 billion contract from NASA to perform various services at the Kennedy Space Center,
Including management of a fleet of approximately 400 vehicles, according to the complaint.
The government accused URS and its subcontractor, Yang Enterprises Inc., of defrauding NASA of more than $387,000 through “the undocumented and unreasonable early replacement of tires” in the Kennedy Space Center's fleet.
Between October 2008 and April 2015, URS and Yang billed NASA for replacements of tires on 237 vehicles that had less than 15,000 miles of use, the complaint stated. On 44 of the vehicles, the tires ran less than 10,000 miles before replacement, it said.
This is far less than the 20,000-mile threshold for tire replacement set by the GSA or the 25,000 miles most experts suggest for minimum tire life, the lawsuit said.
A URS spokesman said his company will defend itself vigorously against the government's allegations.
“The company takes its responsibilities as a government contractor very seriously and has a demonstrated track record of serving our customers with honesty and integrity,” the spokesman said. “We are confident that this lawsuit will ultimately be proven to be without merit.”