Relator for United States ex rel. Robinson v. Northrop Grumman Corp.
Rex A. Robinson worked on some of the most technically advanced projects in the United States, including Apollo lunar missions and various top-secret military programs. When, during the era of Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” speech, the United States was developing state-of-the-art, top-secret “Stealth” technology, Rex was tapped to work on the project.
Rex was a test engineer for Northrop Grumman’s Defense Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, when he began to suspect that the company was lying to the government on the B-2 “Stealth” bomber program. He overheard several conversations in which other engineers discussed fabricating test results for government projects and telling the government that the contracted projects were moving forward even though they were not. Rex notified his superiors about these conversations, but he was fired and blacklisted almost immediately after doing so.
In 1989, Rex and fellow Northrop employee James H. Holzrichter filed a qui tam suit against the company. When the government decided not to intervene, Rex, Jim, and their attorneys continued to investigate the case and eventually gathered enough evidence to change the government’s mind. Sadly, though, Rex passed away before the case finally settled in 2005, with Northrop paying $134 million.