Illinois-based agency to receive $8.7M settlement
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — The federal government will receive $8.7 million in a civil settlement as the result of a Danish shipping giant’s failure to comply with a contract with an agency headquartered at Scott Air Force Base.
U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton announced the agreement with Maersk, the world’s largest overseas cargo carrier, on Wednesday. An investigation determined there were 277 instances of false claims for the shipment of cargo to U.S. military outposts in Afghanistan, according to a press release.
Even a small percentage of fraud can amount to a significant loss of funds in contracts of this magnitude, according to Wigginton.
“By this and other ongoing investigations, I am putting these world-wide contractors on notice that my office will not tolerate any fraudulent, false or unwarranted billings to the United States and its client agencies,” he said.
Maersk is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company had a contract with the United States Transportation Command, or Transcom, to move cargo for the Department of Defense.
Wigginton said Maersk cooperated in the investigation.
“Maersk’s overall conduct reflects a stronger performance and greater diligence than the relatively small amount of noncompliant warzone shipments would suggest, but, as I have noted, even a small amount of overall fraud becomes a huge waste of tax dollars, and I will not tolerate any such waste,” he said.