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Aerojet Will Pay $9M to Resolve Allegations of Cybersecurity Lies

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., the defense contractor with deep Sacramento roots, has agreed to pay a $9 million fine to resolve accusations that it lied to the federal government about its cybersecurity capabilities.

The settlement, announced Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, stems from a whistleblower lawsuit initially filed by the company’s former senior director of cybersecurity. The ex-employee, Brian Markus, will receive $2.6 million of the settlement as part of the federal False Claims Act.

Contractors that do business with the Defense Department and NASA must meet certain federal standards for cybersecurity to prevent leaks of sensitive government data stored on the companies’ computers. Markus, who joined Aerojet when it was still headquartered in Rancho Cordova in 2014, said in his lawsuit that the rocket-engine manufacturer provided him with about half the staffing and budget he was promised. 

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