WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Defense contractor and aerospace giant Boeing (BA.N) paid the United States $18 million to settle whistleblower allegations that it submitted false claims for labor charges to the U.S. Air Force, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The federal government had alleged Boeing knowingly charged the United States for time its mechanics spent on extended breaks and lunch hours while working on the C-17 Globemaster aircraft at its Long Beach Depot Center in California.

The allegations were originally brought by former Boeing employee James Thomas Webb, who will share an undetermined share of the settlement as a whistleblower, the Justice Department said a statement.

The claims resolved by the civil settlement were allegations only. There has been no determination of liability, the statement said.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Sandra Maler)