A multinational industrial engineering company has agreed to pay the government $22.2 million after a whistleblower alleged that it fraudulently avoided its obligation to pay customs duties on imports.
According to the government’s press release, the company misrepresented “the nature, classification, and valuation of imported merchandise, as well as the applicability of free trade agreements.” Importers are required to declare, certain information concerning their goods, including the country of origin, the value, whether the goods are covered by antidumping or countervailing duties, and the amount of duties owed. Customs officials rely on these representations in determining the amount of duties owed.
The whistleblower in this case brought the lawsuit under the False Claims Act (FCA), after uncovering the scheme to defraud the government. The FCA allows private individuals with knowledge of fraud against the federal government to bring a civil action and assist in recouping the funds. The FCA allows whistleblowers to share in any recovery. In this case, the whistleblower will receive approximately $3.7 million.
If you have uncovered fraud against the government, contact the whistleblower attorneys at Miller Law Group for a free and confidential consultation. You can also set up your consultation by calling us at (919) 348-4361.
The settlement discussed above is based on allegations only. No determination of liability has been made.