A shipping company has agreed to pay $1.89 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by overbilling the United States for freight services that were never performed and improper markups, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Blue Water Shipping U.S. Inc. (Blue Water Shipping) had a contract in which it billed for freight forwarding services for foreign military sales, which were reimbursed by the United States. In the settlement announced today, Blue Water Shipping admits that an employee of the company, who has since been terminated, created a fake company to bill for freight services that were never actually performed, and which were ultimately reimbursed by the United States. The settlement also resolves allegations that Blue Water Shipping charged unallowable markups to the United States for inland transportation, and imports and exports of ocean and air freight. Blue Water Shipping has agreed to pay $1.89 million to resolve the investigations for the improper billings.
In conjunction with the investigation, Blue Water Shipping voluntarily disclosed facts to the investigators and cooperated with the investigation and prosecution of the former employee.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; special agents of the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick Hegarty; and special agents of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel, with the investigation leading to the settlement.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark C. Orlowski of the U.S. Attorney’s Healthcare Fraud Unit in Newark.
The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
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