The United States has filed a complaint under the False Claims Act against the Florida-based Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA), the Justice Department announced today. The suit was filed in the Southern District of Mississippi.
The lawsuit alleges that TRDA made false statements to obtain federal grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA), and knowingly spent grant funds on activities not permitted by the grants. TRDA is a special district of the state of Florida, chartered by the state to aid in the development of opportunities for local small businesses. TRDA is headquartered in Melbourne, Fla.
“Government grant programs intended to encourage the development of small businesses should not be abused by those who receive such funding,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We remain committed to maintaining a level playing field for those who compete for or receive federal grant monies.”
Assistant Attorney General West thanked the NASA Office of Inspector General, which assisted the Civil Division in its investigation of this matter.
The claims contained in the complaint against TRDA are only allegations and do not constitute a determination of liability.