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CALIFORNIA | BRIEFLY: DEFENSE

Local Firm Admits False Certification of Parts

April 09, 1999| A Times staff writer

A Torrance company has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges that it falsely certified the reliability of critical electronic components used by NASA and the Defense Department, the U.S. attorney's office announced. RGA Testing Labs Inc., which specializes in testing semiconductors, was charged with three counts of making false statements to the government. In an agreement with prosecutors, the company will plead guilty and pay a $400,000 fine. Federal prosecutors said RGA had contracted to test critical components for use in the international space station, the B-1 bomber, a Navy control-and-navigation system and the C-130 aircraft. Defense Department and NASA investigators said RGA falsely certified that the components had been tested when the tests either were improperly performed or not performed at all. In many instances, the government said, RGA's testing equipment was not working or did not exist and, in some cases, parts that flunked tests were approved for use. As a result, an alert was issued to all affected government programs. RGA attorney Howard Beckler denied that any of the components were critical or any of the programs jeopardized. RGA will be arraigned next month in Los Angeles federal court.

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