Company pays $3.5M for failed mask delivery during pandemic

Company pays $3.5M for failed mask delivery during pandemic
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A company in Massachusetts is paying the state $3.5 million for failing to fulfill a contract to provide 1 million masks during the pandemic. 

Bedrock Group LLC agreed to give the state 1 million N95 masks by mid-April last year, with Massachusetts paying $3.6 million, but the company delivered fewer than 100,000 masks by June, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said.

The state terminated the contract for the company’s failure, and Bedrock allegedly repeated false claims for months about refunding Massachusetts. 

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The company attempted to send $750,000 in January, but the state sent it back because it was not the correct amount. 

The state filed an assurance of discontinuance with Suffolk Superior Court saying the company violated the Massachusetts False Claims Act by failing to provide the state with the full refund and making false statements.

Bedrock has agreed to return to the state the money it owes in addition to a $250,000 payment for false claims. The company also won’t be allowed to get a contract with the state for five years.

Bedrock blamed the problem on the supplier, The Associated Press reported.

“Bedrock was confronted with demands for additional fees well outside their agreement with their Chinese supplier,” Jonathan Roth, an officer with Bedrock, said.

“This company tried to take advantage of the state by holding onto millions of taxpayer dollars it owed for masks that it never delivered,” Healey said. “The state relied on this order to provide life-saving masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.”