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US commissions latest Littoral Combat Ship, as Austal execs face fraud charges

3rd April 2023 - 19:00 GMT | by Harry Lye in London

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USS Santa Barbara pictured ahead of its commissioning. (Photo: US DoD)

On April 1, the USN commissioned the latest Austal USA-built Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32), shortly after a federal grand jury indictment charging three Alabama men with orchestrating an accounting fraud scheme at the shipbuilder.

According to court documents, the three men and their co-conspirators allegedly conspired to mislead shareholders and the public about Austal USA’s financial position.

In a press release, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said the defendants are alleged to have ‘artificially reduced and suppressed an accounting metric known as “estimate at completion” (EAC) in relation to multiple LCS ships that Austal USA was building for the US Navy'.

Suppression of the EACs allegedly falsely overstated the company’s reported earnings in public financial statements.

The EAC figures were allegedly manipulated in part by using ‘programme challenges’, or cost-savings goals, that were in

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Harry Lye

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Harry Lye


Harry Lye was Senior Naval Reporter at Shephard Media.

Harry joined the company in 2021, …

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