The Department of Justice started 2012 off with a bang, announcing its latest settlement in a False Claims Act fraud case. Maersk Line Limited, an American subsidiary of Denmark-based AP Moller Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping firm, has agreed to pay the United States government 31.9 million dollars to settle false claims allegations.
Maersk was hired by the Department of Defense to transport thousands of containers from ports to destinations in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan as a part of the war effort in support of US troops in those areas. According to the allegations, Maersk actively overcharged the government for these services by inflating and tampering with its invoices in numerous ways. Although all fraud is deceitful and wrong, it is especially appalling that a company like Maersk took advantage of the government’s efforts to support the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. We are hopeful that settlements like this one will discourage fraud against our armed services in the future.
Jerry H. Brown II, a former industry insider and the whistleblower in this case, began the lawsuit against Maersk by filing a complaint against the company under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Under these provisions, private citizens can file lawsuits on behalf of the government and receive a share of the recovery if the case is successful. As his portion of the settlement, Mr. Brown will be receiving $3.6 million. Mr. Brown has done a commendable service on behalf of American taxpayers, the US government, and most importantly on behalf of the US military.
To learn more about defense contractor fraud and other types of fraud, visit our website at http://www.fraudfighters.net/.