The Justice Department announced that United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) has agreed to pay approximately $5.3 million to resolve its potential liability under the False Claims Act for falsely reporting information about the transfer of U.S. mail to foreign posts or other intended recipients under contracts with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). UPS is an international package delivery company incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
USPS contracted with UPS to pick up U.S. mail at six locations in the United States and at various Department of Defense and State Department locations abroad, and then deliver that mail to numerous international and domestic destinations. To obtain payment under the contracts, UPS was required to submit electronic scans to USPS reporting the time the mail was delivered at the identified destinations. The contracts specified penalties for mail that was delivered late or to the wrong location. The settlement resolves allegations that scans submitted by UPS falsely reported the time and fact that it transferred possession of the mail.
“Companies doing business with the government must meet their contractual obligations,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will pursue those who knowingly fail to live up to their bargain and falsely bill the government for goods or services that they did not provide.”
“The USPS contracts with commercial airlines for the safeguarding and timely delivery of U.S. mail to foreign posts, including the mail sent to our soldiers deployed to foreign operating bases,” said Executive Special Agent in Charge Ken Cleevely of the USPS Office of Inspector General. “The Office of Inspector General supports USPS by aggressively investigating allegations of contractual non-compliance within the mail delivery process, including the falsification of delivery information. Our special agents worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Justice to help ensure a reasonable resolution and we applaud the exceptional work done by the investigative and legal teams.”
This is the fifth civil settlement involving air carrier liability for false delivery scans under the USPS International Commercial Air Contracts, and collectively the United States has recovered more than $70 million as a result of its investigation of such misconduct.
The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, with substantial assistance from the USPS Office of the Inspector General and the USPS Office of General Counsel. Senior Trial Counsel Don Williamson of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, represented the government in the civil case.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.