Federal officials say a southwest Iowa manufacturer has agreed to pay a half a million dollar settlement after a whistleblower claimed the company failed to properly test parts it made for military contractors.

WDC Acquisitions in Creston, known by its trade name Wellman Dynamics, makes aluminum and magnesium metal castings. A news release from the U.S. Justice Department says Wellman Dynamics parts have been used in the military’s Apache, Osprey and Black Hawk helicopters. The federal government alleged that between 2014 and 2021, the company did not conduct required strength and quality tests of its parts and falsely certified that tests had been performed.

Wellman employee Bradley Keller is the whistleblower who sued the company on behalf of the United States. He’ll be paid $90,000. The Justice Department says the claims resolved by the settlement remain allegations and there has been no determination of liability.

Wellman Dynamics has been in business for a century and has about 350 employees at its facility in Creston. A Michigan-based private equity fund known as TRM Equity bought Wellman on July 29th. In a news release, Wellman’s new owner indicated very significant investments have been made recently to modernize the facility in Creston.