Danvers Firm Pays $600,000 Fine After False Military Boot Claims

Trendware Marketing's fabric for military use.

A Danvers-based supplier of components for military boots, Trendware Marketing LLC, has agreed to pay $600,000 after falsely claiming its products were American-made.

It was alleged Trendware violated the False Claims Act when it did not comply with the Department of Defense’s made-in-America requirements. The Berry Amendment, as the law is known, requires certain items purchased by the defense department, including military boots and boot hardware, be wholly of United States origin. The government alleges that, although Trendware certified that it was in compliance with the Berry Amendment, the footwear components provided by the company for military boots were not manufactured within the United States. Trendware’s certifications of compliance were false and misleading.  This resolution seeks to strip Trendware of its unfair price advantage in competing for military contracts by using non-American-made products and undercutting its competitors.

“Trendware falsely claimed that all of its products were made in America, and thereby ensured that it won government contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “These false claims not only deprived the United States military of the products it required, but deprived other honest businesspeople of a fair shot at this government contract.”

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas championed the Berry Amendment in 2013, partly to protect remaining Merrimack Valley shoe manufacturers. She said then,  “It is time for the Department of Defense to treat athletic footwear like every other uniform item, including boots, and buy them from American manufacturers.”

“Second only to our servicemen and women in the defense of this great nation is the vital importance of our technology and equipment,” said Frank Robey, director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. “Whether it’s a main battle tank or the boots that go on the feet of our troops, we have to be absolutely certain that we are getting what we pay for—there can be no doubt or room for error when lives are literally at risk on the battlefield.  We owe nothing less than that to our servicemembers, and our CID special agents are fully committed to ensuring that the government and the Army get what they pay for.”

“Ensuring our servicemen and women are outfitted with the proper equipment procured through a fair and honest acquisition process is essential,” said Craig W. Rupert, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General.  “DCIS continues working with our law enforcement partners to shield America’s investment in national defense from the manipulation of the procurement process by unscrupulous contractors.”

This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonya A. Rao of Ortiz’s Civil Division.

3 thoughts on “Danvers Firm Pays $600,000 Fine After False Military Boot Claims

  1. Niki Tsongas….Why aren’t you screaming about Hillary’s Clinton Foundation accepting $2,300,000 in donations from a shell Canadian Corporation controlled by Russians and then her turning around and approving as Secretary Of State the sale of America’s largest uranium mine to Russia??? And you’re worried about where boots are made???

    You’re a fraud Niki and you should be tried for treason along with Hillary and all your fellow looney liberal Democrats.

    • Tsongas is textbook definition of a hypocrite. First she interfere’s with free markets by using legislation to FORCE (the military) purchases from a specified vendor (i.e. New Balance), but at the same time could care less that Apple products are made with slave labor, heck, she’s probably an iPhone use herself!