PPI to Pay $960,000 for Defective Bulletproof Vest Allegations

Protective Products International Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $960,000 to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by supplying defective Zylon bulletproof vests, the Justice Department has announced.

As part of the agreement, PPI has pledged its cooperation in the government's ongoing investigation of other entities that manufactured and sold Zylon vests purchased by the government.

The United States alleged that the Sunrise, Fla.-based company sold vests that it knew were defective because the Zylon material was not appropriate for ballistic applications. The Zylon fiber for PPI's vests came from Toyobo Co. Ltd. and was woven by Lincoln Fabrics Ltd. and Barrday Corp. These vests were purchased by the United States, and by various state, local, and/or tribal law enforcement agencies.

"Defective body armor places our first-responders at risk unnecessarily," said Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division.

In July 2005, the Justice Department intervened in a qui tam action against Second Chance Body Armor and Toyobo seeking to recover damages relating to the sale of defective Zylon bulletproof vests by Second Chance. In June of 2007, the government filed a lawsuit against Toyobo for its role in the sale of defective Zylon bulletproof vests to the U.S. by other manufacturers of bulletproof vests.

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