Tactical Tailor

UPDATED – US Government Sues L3 Communications for Fraud Involving EOTech Sights – L3 Settles for $25.6 Million

We can finally tell you the rest of the story regarding L3 Communications’ EOTech Sights.  The Department of Justice has been investigating EOTech for some time and has finally filed suit (US v. L-3 Communications EOTech Inc., 15-cv-09262) in US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Specifically, the Government’s allegations concentrate on the performance of the Holographic Weapon Sights at temperature extremes as well as in high moisture environments. The Government also claims that EOTEch failed to disclose testing that demonstrated the inaccuracy issues in those environments.

In addition to naming L-3 and EOTech as defendants in the Government’s suit, they also named EOTech’s president, Paul Mangano which isn’t very common. They are seeking unspecified triple damages plus civil penalties of as much as $11,000 for each fraudulent claim.

L-3 has been aware of the pending action, having mentioned the issue in their July 2015 SEC filing as well as setting aside $26 million.

Update – By mid-afternoon, L-3 had settled with the government for $25.6 million which clearly indicates L-3 has known since summer how much the US Government would be willing to accept in relief. Their quick action helped turn a drop in stock value of more than 6% at mid-day, yet they still closed the day down from opening prices.

What remains, is for L-3 to answer to domestic consumers, state and local governments as well as international customers.

Below is the filing. In suggest you read it. The Government’s case is compelling.

United States v. L-3 Communications Eotech, Inc., et al-1

Click to view .pdf

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100 Responses to “UPDATED – US Government Sues L3 Communications for Fraud Involving EOTech Sights – L3 Settles for $25.6 Million”

  1. Dellis says:

    Wow….just wow! I had an eotech in my cart last night but did not pull the trigger on it cause so close to holidays. I do not own an eotech but from what I would read they seemed to be the leader in holographic sights. Or was that just fanboy nonsense?

    • Use the search function on this sight. L3 hosed us, gravey.

    • Dash says:

      Aimpoint has always been better. Now we just have proof.

      • Dellis says:

        I run an Aimpoint Pro on my Daniel Defense and just the other day I saw the Vickers TV torture test he did on both the Aimpoint and the DD and I felt so relieved knowing I had spent a good deal of money well!

        So I do agree, my Aimpoint has been a great sight, battery now going on a full year on full time AND holds zero!

      • C5 says:

        Dash, Aimpoint is great stuff, but the question was about holographic sights. Aimpoint is a red dot, not a holographic sight, so EOTech is still the way to go.

    • drjekyl30 says:

      They’re all hype. You pay $300 for the name and $200 for the sights. You’re better off learning to use your iron sights and buying a mid range res dot sight. I’ve never bought into the hype and never will.

      • Arrow 4 says:

        Sorry but I have to disagree, when you buy quality it will always cost you more. There is a reason you can buy a Sun Optics RDS for $50. Also red dot sights are a proven commodity, starting first in the competition world and moving into a combat role. Tier one units run with RDS’s on not just their carbines but many/most run them on their pistols as well. Again it’s not hype, but a proven advantage.

        • Joe says:

          Right and since you paid $500 for your eotech, it must be just as awesome and just as good as a $500 aimpoint.

          Wait a minute, what is the article about again….

          Let this be a lesson to you that price does not always equal quality and that your thought process should still extend past the price tag

          • Arrow 4 says:

            Joe, forgive me for not being more explicit. In “most cases” a quality product will cost you more. Yes it is a generalization, but it holds true the vast majority of the time. When I began hunting years ago, the most common equipment advice I got was, spend as much money on your glass as you can afford. Anyone who thinks a Tasco scope will offer the same performance as a Nightforce, US Optics, etc. is smoking crack.

        • Clarification – Drjekyl is wrong. A top quality red dot sight ( meaning Aimpoint) is worth it’s weight in gold

          • Dellis says:

            Mr. Vickers, thanks for that test…it was impressive and just re-enforced the choice I made prior to watching it.

            Have a great Thanksgiving!

          • Chris says:

            You have messed up when Mr. Vickers corrects you. Ive always wanted an eotech. Think ill just go to the standard trijicon now.

            • Square says:

              No question LV is a bad mofo!!! But let’s not get it twisted, he endorses Aimpoint. What do you think of Trijicon Larry?

          • Chris says:

            I’ve had an M2 Comp on an AR that’s been flogged for close to 10 years. I’d say its paid for itself many times over a “midlevel” red dot. Only have had 2 battery changes and its on all the time.

            • Clark says:

              Hey Chris, LAV doesn’t like Trijis either. I was running an RM01 on my primary carbine at one of Vickers classes 2 weeks ago. He said something like “get an Aimpoint”. Two drills later, my trijicon started to “battery bounce” (turn on/off every other round), I switched to my secondary with an Aimpoint T1 on it, heard some grief from Larry about it, but didn’t have another issue the rest of the day (4 more hours of high round count drills).
              Just get an Aimpoint. Buy once, cry once.
              On another note, anyone interested in a used RM01?

              • Clark says:

                As a qualifier, I sold my Eotech & G33 magnifier 2 years ago. Part of a trade for an M1A (no red dot needed!)

          • Mike says:

            I have (and use) 3 Eotech sights. Oldest is 6 years old. All have been used in all weather conditions without fail. Every sight-in prior to training has been spot on. Disclaimer: 50 yards is the normal max range they are used at.
            Not one issue with them.
            YMMV

            • Rick Torres says:

              I have been running an Eotech EXPS-3 for a couple of years now on my AR. Am really conflicted about this report as I have never experienced a failure with mine. Holds Zero flawless to the point where I shoot 18 inch plates at 125 yds with no problem. At 50 yrds the groups are tight as can be. Not sure as to whether this is just a failure waiting to happen or if I have a really good one that wont fail. I have other RDS like Trijicons and bushnell TR-25’s which BTW are an awesome product for the money but want something durable and sturdy on my AR cause I do heavy training with it. Suggestions welcome.

  2. AttackBlue1 says:

    Love it! RUMINT suggests that L3 set aside a good chunk of change to deal with this albatross they created.

  3. jellydonut says:

    Oops.

  4. Joe Flowers says:

    I hope they throw in another $1M fine for the stupidity of Eotech being allowed to create a pointless zombie reticle version. Of course, some blame should go to those who actually bought one, but by now I figure they’ve suffered enough through time-served owning one.

    • Jon, OPT says:

      That reticle is literally the final straw and why I dropped their products years ago; along with the emerging complaints at that time that the L3 sights had issues beyond what older EO Techs had (mostly battery contact issues), and other smaller factors.

      • Oglee says:

        Did you also drop Hornady for their Z-Max?

        There was money to be made and a smart business capitalized on such trends.

  5. Paul says:

    EO tech sights produced before L3 bought them seemed to be made to higher quality and perform better.

    • Jon, OPT says:

      I had one for years and fully agree, it never went through extreme temp thresholds, but it was solid as hell and very reliable.

      • David says:

        I’ve been seeing complaints that I don’t understand and these comments made me go dig the box out. It says Dec 11 2003. I’ve never had a single problem. I have the 552 model, almost 12 years apparently. It was expensive but to me worth it.

        • Jon, OPT says:

          Mine was same timeframe, solid sights back then, prior to the L3 purchase of the company. There are still issues with some older ones, but nothing compared to post buyout models.

          • Bobby Davro says:

            About time, a sensible comment eotech have been used in Afghan and iraq for over a decade no issues and all of a sudden they are satans spawn, and as usual mall warriors on the band wagon Of hate 99% of which have never used one anywhere but the range or a shooting course

      • Daniel says:

        I have had one for close to ten years and it was an older model when I got it. I took it to Afghanistan with some pretty big temp variances compared to here and I had no issues.

  6. PTMcCain says:

    Do you hear that?

    That’s the sound of the other shoe dropping.

    KA-BOOOM

  7. Matt says:

    I wonder how this will effect the other stuff L3 provides the government.

  8. Garry McPeak says:

    Having owned both products it is not surprising to see this happen.As a member of Lightfighter forum these problems have been well documented for several years by Military and Police end users.Anything man made can and will fail, but AimPoint is the gold standard in RDS

    • What does lightfighter have to do with it? Every big forum has had groupthink disdain of EoTechs.

    • Arrow 4 says:

      Aimpoint makes solid products no doubt. If anyone is looking for a RDS though, you would be remiss if you do not try Trijicon’s new MRO. I just spent a week in a carbine course, shot three different RDS’s for comparison. The MRO blew the T-1 away, it’s a great optic!

      • John Lohr says:

        Yea, the MRO is terrific, as long as people are careful not to break the contacts while installing the battery. I love my MRO.

  9. Scuba_Dan says:

    I wonder how long before the civilian class action suits for fraud start rolling in as well? Things seemed sketchy once L3 started changing the product documentation, marketing materials, and published data specs so quickly.

  10. Joe says:

    What does this mean for the private consumer who has an EOtech?

  11. Dante says:

    I was wondering that myself… I have three eotechs and now it looks like I’m going to be stuck with them as I know now that I’m not going to be getting anything for them if I try to sell them.

    • P.J. says:

      “Shares of L-3 fell as much as 6.1 percent to $118.30 after the lawsuit was filed, but before the settlement became public.”

      Sounds like this was settled before it was filed.

  12. Roadblock says:

    I’ve been running some flavor of EOTech since they first came out including the newer L3 EOTechs and I’ve NEVER had issues with them. Granted I just shoot 2 and 3 gun but I’ve gotten my soaked, I’ve shot in cold Michigan weather and never an issue. The issues documented specifically about the issues the Govt has will never affect the average user so I’m not sure why everyone keeps saying “EOTech fucked us” or “EOTechs are junk now blah blah blah”

    EOTech will pay some fines, revamp some products and people will forget about this. EOTech’s are not going anywhere, anytime soon.

    Side note, if anyone wants to sell me there EXPS3.0-TAN’s and G33.STS-TAN’s at a discount because they are such junk, I could use another set cheap! :)

    • DAN III says:

      Roadblock,

      Can you wait until next year when EOTech is bringing out their 5x G55 magnifier ? My, ahem, “junk” G33 will be available to you then.

    • Scuba_Dan says:

      It’s not just about whether it will directly affect you in use, the lawsuit is about fraud, meaning that L3 KNEW the EOtech products did not perform within the specifications published and advertised. Making claims about the performance of a product when knowing it does not perform as described is fraud and the root of the lawsuit.

      The only recourse for civilians will be individual or a class action lawsuit.

      • Rick Torres says:

        Not necessarily so. I sent EOtech/L3 an Email requesting a full refund on my EXPS-3. They authorized a FULL refund and an extra $15.00 for shipping it back to them. I am a civilian tactical trainer and have lost faith in the company due to their deception and made that known to them. Here is a copy of the Email and their response:

        RE: Return Authorization Request: Enrique Torres Jr.
        1 message
        support.eotech@l-3com.com Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 7:05 AM
        To: jitsumania00@gmail.com
        Dear Customer,
        Your refund request has been received and approved. Please print and enclose this email with your optic and return it to: EOTech Refunds, 1201 E Ellsworth Rd, Ann Arbor, Mi 48108. EOTech will refund the purchase price plus $15 shipping cost as soon as possible. “

        Sincerely,
        EOTech Customer Service

        EOTech- An L-3 Communications Company
        1201 E. Ellsworth Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48108

        http://www.eotech-inc.com

        To submit a repair request double click http://www.eotech-inc.com/raform.php

        To obtain FAQ, Troubleshooting and order replacment parts click http://www.eotechinc.com/hws-service-and-support/parts-and-repair

        —–Original Message—–
        From: jitsumania00@gmail.com [mailto:jitsumania00@gmail.com]
        Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 12:50 AM
        To: RMA @ ESG – WSS – EOTech
        Subject: Return Authorization Request: Enrique Torres Jr.

        RETURN AUTHORIZATION REQUEST

        Name: Enrique n/a Torres Jr.

        Company: Integrity Tactical Solutions

        Address:

        1501 E. Mockingbird Suite 262

        Victoria, TX 77904

        Phone: 3616767004

        Email: jitsumania00@gmail.com

        Product Type:

        Holographic Weapon Sights

        Model: EXPS3

        Quantity: 1

        Serial Number: A0488482

        Manufacture Date: May 1, 2012

        Failure Description:

        Due to current issues present with defects of various L3 products I have lost confidence in the quality of my HWS for fear of impending catastrophic failure or shifts in Point of aim and point of impact due to temperature issues. I live in Texas which is well known for extreme heat and at times extreme temperature shifts. This loss of confidence is exacerbated by the recent acknowledgement of L3 to the federal Government of deceptive trade practice and settlement of a multi million dollar law suit for non disclosure of critical information. L3 should not have kept vital information from the Armed Forces which affected the products as well as possibly placing the life of our soldiers in danger due to a very critical piece of equipment which is vital in combat (HWS). The information was also kept from the civilian consumer. I cannot support companies that do this as a civilian and strong supporter of our armed services. I am requesting full refund of the purchase price $670.00

        Contact Preference: email

        Comments:

        can also be contacted by phone 361-676-7004

        CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This electronic transmission, including all attachments, is directed in confidence solely to the person(s) to whom it is addressed, or an authorized recipient, and may not otherwise be distributed, copied or disclosed. The contents of the transmission may also be subject to intellectual property rights and all such rights are expressly claimed and are not waived. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately by return electronic transmission and then immediately delete this transmission, including all attachments, without copying, distribution or disclosing same

  13. M. says:

    It’s my professional opinion from being a firm contractor for over 20 years that Trijicon is the Best thing on the planet and seem to be the leader in red dots with the new MRO

    • TCBA_Joe says:

      Except for the reports of broken battery contacts and brand new units being DAO.

      • Arrow 4 says:

        Not sure where those reports are coming from. I shot my first MRO in NC the first week in June before Trijicon went public with them. Trijicon has always made a solid product.

  14. Mike D says:

    I was still somewhat on the fence about EO Tech until they released their Zombie reticle. That right there kicked me off of the fence, never to return. All of the issued EO Techs that I have ever had the displeasure of using were finicky at best, and the battery situation was the worst part of it all. I’m glad that I switched to Aimpoint Micros on my personal guns years ago, I just wish that SOCOM as a whole would pick them up too.

  15. Thomas says:

    I am a fan of EoTech and Aimpoint. My EoTech runs flawlessly. there are plenty of companies with issues like these.

    • Issues like what ?

    • Scuba_Dan says:

      Issues like fraud? You mean continuing to sell a product under the false pretenses of published operating capabilities and specifications? No. There are not many companies with issues like that.

      The lawsuit is about fraudulent behavior not how the actual HWS performs. The performance is related to the problems but not the root of the problem.

      • ravenshrike says:

        There are plenty of companies who regularly engage in fraud. Now, I can’t say that such action is endemic in the gun business, but every major car company has engaged in fraud at one point or another. The latest of course being every euro car-maker’s diesel emissions tests being rigged.

        • doublej says:

          Emissions? Does that compare to having your optic quit while in combat? Even if combat injuries/death cannot be directly shown at this point, would you take that chance as a company ethically or as a liability?

  16. Ryan says:

    With the willful withholding of the problems and lying about them, I don’t understand how criminal charges are not being filed.

    Also, we should be examining the ethics of this company. With something that directly impacted the lives and safety of our fighting men, why should we even think about supporting such a company? We should be after some accountability.

    • bloke_from_ohio says:

      That is the funniest thing I have ever read on SSD.

      • doublej says:

        Why is that funny? How about firing pins that break, or armor that does not meet standards? Having an optic fail while in a gun fight would not be funny at all.

        • doublej says:

          edit. After reading your other comments, I think you are saying that there are no chances of a large company being held accountable criminally for their criminal actions. If that is what you are saying, I completely agree.

  17. DAN III says:

    And obama’s fed stooges are suing Volkswagen of America for $21 BILLION dollars alleging VW manipulated their testing of their diesel engine emissions to evade fedgov oversight.

    What a coincidence…..

    • How in the world is the VW situation related to this ???

    • Philip says:

      I bet you’re preparing for “Part 2” of Jade Helm right now aren’t you?

      Better not stay out here too long…those government brainwave detectors might get you.

      • Martin woodhead says:

        i belive DAN 111 is pretty safe from US goverment brainwave detectors.
        UN/EU tinfoil hat targeting submunitions not so much….

    • SSD says:

      Take the time to read the Government’s case against L3 Communications. They’ve presented evidence of a pattern of misleading the government for many years.

  18. Jeff says:

    I used an EOTech in the military and own one for personal use. I love them and they have never failed me or lost their zero. I’m a bit disapointed that they lied or failed to release information that the devices fail at EXTREME cold temperatures and in EXTREME moisture. My EOTech has been in the ocean, been rained on, been in streams and had other moisture without any issue. I live in the midwest so it’s been expsed to freezing, but not what the suite describes as extreme cold, still no issues. So if you are in an arctic environment, get something else. If you live underwater or in a rainforrest, get something else. The other 99% of humans on earth will probably never experience the issues associated with this law suit.

  19. JC says:

    If L3 was cheating Uncle Sam they should pay for it, just as any unscrupulous vendor should. That being said I have owned and used three EOtechs for the past six years and experienced zero problems. If I needed another holosight or red dot I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another EOTech.

  20. Chad says:

    I was deployed and saw aim point on average joes infantry weapons 2006. I saw special forces with eotechs. I asked average Joe what they thought about aim point and they weren’t that impressed and a couple where convinced they didn’t hold zero. I asked special forces why they had eotechs and they answered , ” better”, “holds zero”, “cause we get what we want”. I purchased 2 eotech 512’s and have had no issues of any kind. Admittedly I don’t shoot in the rain. I was trying to decide between another eotech/aim point pro or iluminated 1-4 guess I may lean to the pro, shame I like the circle and the large field of view of eotech

  21. Joel says:

    I’ve had an EO Tech since mid 2006 and have never had an issue. It made it through deployments with both temperature extremes, high and low humidity, sand storms, etc with not issue at all. I only have to change the batteries about every 200 to 300 hours of on time, and the aim has been dead on. I still use it at the range. The laser produces a clear, clean point of aim. I used an Aimpoint PRO for about six months, but my EO Tech is superior in every way.

    • SSD says:

      Unfortunately for L-3, your experience has zero bearing on the mess they’ve gotten themselves into.

  22. Joey JoJo Jr. says:

    I know everyone wants to paint this as a “Ford vs. Chevy” preference thing…and nobody wants to admit their baby is ugly.

    BUT… a sample of one or two, or “I heard guys say” this or that, is totally and statistically invalid.

    Many problems with the EOtech system have been known for years. Honest users and instructors know about these and sought better sights.

    The numbers don’t lie (documented recalls, upgrades, fixes, warranty returns), and now this…which is FACT, not “mine is awesome, so they all are”.

    And, seriously, if you’re shooting it right, the shape of the reticle makes no difference. It’s just a thing you put between your eye and the target. It’s not a fancy National Match iron front sight post, to be lovingly focused on and admired like a pretty picture.

  23. SHKillShot says:

    I bought an EXPS3-0 last January for my SBR, being unaware of the issues that this article and many of you here speak of. As a test, I’m gonna put mine in the freezer overnight and see how it’s effected.

    For those who are interested, I’ll report back with my findings.

  24. Steve D says:

    Here is the settlement. In it L3 admits the conduct and the problems; so does the president of the company. Such straightforward admissions are not typical in a commercial settlement. Typically the money allows both parties just to say allegations were made and disputed. Fairly extraordinary.

    http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/file/796026/download

    • SSD says:

      Yes, we posted this on Friday.

      • Steve D says:

        Sorry – saw the lawsuit posted but didn’t see the settlement agreement itself. Very disappointing situation. As you guys point out, it’s not over. Good reporting and lots of clear detailed info you guys have posted – nice work.

  25. Jon J says:

    TWO WORDS: Trijicon ACOG

  26. Adrian Arkwright says:

    EOTech commissioned a company called Optiflow Inc to help resolve some of their quality issues with their product, and also to create a laser diode to resolve the issues with thermal drift. They own quite a few of patents for the components of the EOTech gunsight.

  27. JIMMY says:

    I have been running Eotech for 10 years and not one problem. !00 ++ yards. So on there defense. They have worked fine and would buy again….. I agree with Jon J
    Trijicon ACOG or Aimpoint are great I own them also.I like them all.
    To bad for Eotech.