World’s Largest Shipping Firm Agrees to Pay Federal Government $31.9 Million

January 9th, 2012 by Qui Tam

To resolve allegations of submitting false claims, Norfolk-based Maersk Line Limited and its Danish affiliate, Maersk Line, agreed to a global settlement of $31.9 million to the federal government.  It was alleged that Maersk “knowingly overcharged the Department of Defense to transport thousands of containers from ports to inland delivery destinations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” per an announcement released from the Justice Department.  The federal government also alleged that the company had overcharged for late fees by “failing to account for cargo transit times and a contractual grace period.”  In August of 2011, USA Today reported that Maersk Line Limited is “one of the top recipients of late fees.”

The U.S. Department of Justice announced this settlement on January 3, 2012.  James Philbin, attorney for Maersk, stated that the suit was first filed in 2004 by a former employee of shipping company APL, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  In 2007, the lawsuit was amended to include Maersk as a defendant.  Philbin asserts that upon first becoming aware of the allegations, Maersk conducted an extensive internal investigation and willingly disclosed all discovered information to the U.S. Military and the Department of Justice.

For more information see:  http://hamptonroads.com/2012/01/maersk-pay-federal-government-319-million

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