The Department of Justice announced late last week a settlement with APL Limited, an American shipping company that is a subsidiary of Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines Limited. APL agreed to pay $26.3 million to the government to resolve qui tam claims made under the False Claims Act in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The claims revolved around APL’s activity in a contract with the government to transport cargo to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. APL allegedly inflated its invoices in a variety of ways, including double-billing, billing larger amounts than the contractual rate, and billing for non-reimbursable services. Jerry H. Brown II, an APL employee, was the qui tam whistleblower who initially filed the case on the federal government’s behalf. As the relator, Brown will receive $5.2 million in the settlement.
The investigation of APL was carried out by divisions of the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the Department of Defense, and the Army.