Boeing has paid $18m to the US Government to settle allegations that the company submitted false claims for labour charges on maintenance contracts with the US Air Force for the C-17 Globemaster aircraft.

The US Government earlier alleged that the company improperly charged labour costs for the maintenance and repair of C-17 at its Long Beach Depot Center in Long Beach, California.

Justice Department Civil Division head principal deputy assistant attorney general Benjamin C. Mizer said: "Defense contractors are required to obey the rules when billing for work performed on government contracts.

"Today’s settlement demonstrates that the Justice Department will ensure that government contractors meet their obligations and charge the government appropriately."

Manufactured by Boeing, the C-17 Globemaster is a military tactical transport aircraft designed to conduct rapid strategic airlift of troops and supply of palleted cargo to main operating bases or forward-operating bases in extreme climates worldwide.

The government said that the company charged for the time its mechanics spent on extended breaks and lunch hours, and not on maintenance and repair work.

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By GlobalData

According to the US Department of Justice, the mismanagement was originally brought forward by former Boeing employee James Thomas Webb under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act.

The act allows private individuals to sue on behalf of the government in issues related federal funds.