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Fifeco to pay $900,000 in suit over F-16 seals

A judgment of nearly $900,000 has been reached in a lawsuit that alleged a military contractor sold faulty seals for F-16 fighter jets to the U.S. Air Force.

An investigation found that Fifeco Inc., which is now defunct, knowingly used shoddy materials when manufacturing the seals used on F-16 canopies. The materials made the seals unsafe and would have put pilots at risk, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Government investigators also found Fifeco manufactured the seals when the company was only authorized to supply seals from other manufacturers.

The seals were not used on any jets because they did not meet U.S. Air Force specifications.

Papers filed in U.S. District Court on Sept. 25 order company owner Norman Fife to pay the federal government $884,203.53 and ban the company from performing work on government contracts for three years. The judgment includes more than $280,000 in payments Fifeco received from the government and $33,000 in penalties for filing six false claims.

Kevin Fife, the son of the company's owner and the attorney defending the case, said Norman Fife agreed to the judgment because he is ill and could not handle a trial.