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iStock-1416040835-300x225The automaker allegedly evaded 90% of the tariffs it owed on cargo vans made in Turkey by installing “sham” seats and misclassifying them as “passenger” vehicles

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has paid $365 million to resolve federal charges it evaded $183 million in import duties by misclassifying light-duty Transit Connect cargo vans manufactured in Turkey as “passenger” vehicles when importing them.  The settlement is believed to be one of the largest involving allegedly intentional tariff evasion by a major U.S. company.

Deliberate HTSUS misclassification
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iStock-840821654-300x168The False Claims Act whistleblower received a $600k reward.

An importer has paid $3.1 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it misclassified hazardous chemicals from China to evade more than $1 million in customs duties.

The whistleblower, a former employee of importer Penta International, will receive $600,000—or nearly 20% of the recovery—as a whistleblower reward under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which intervened in the case.

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The whistleblower, a business competitor of the allegedly dishonest importer, received a $286,000 whistleblower reward.

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Industrial tools firm King Kong Tools has paid $1.9 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it transshipped Chinese merchandise through Germany—fraudulently redesignating them as German origin—to circumvent applicable customs duties.

Whistleblower China Pacificarbide—which competes with King Kong in the industrial tools market—filed the lawsuit under the False Claims Act.  It will receive $286,000 or approximately 15% of the recovery as a whistleblower reward, in addition to attorney’s fees, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which intervened in the case.

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The former logistics staffer who reported the import-duty evasion will receive a $152K whistleblower reward.

An importer of  Chinese-manufactured ready-to-assemble furniture sold through such retailers as Walmart and Wayfair has iStock-1585339706-300x169paid $798,334 to resolve whistleblower claims it fraudulently used undervalued commercial invoices to reduce its import-duty obligations.

A former employee of Homestar North America alerted the U.S. government to the importer’s alleged double-invoicing scheme by filing a lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act and will receive $151,000—approximately 19% of the recovery—as a whistleblower reward, according to the U.S. Justice Department, which intervened in the case.

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iStock-1187895923-300x190Former employees who blew the whistle on the duty evasion will share a $500k whistleblower reward.

ADCO Industries, a Texas-based importer of industrial products, has agreed to shell out $2.5 million to end a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it knowingly undervalued merchandise from China to fraudulently reduce its customs duties.

Two former ADCO employees initiated the customs-fraud whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act and will share a whistleblower reward of $500,000, according to the U.S. Justice Department, which intervened in the case.

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iStock-599758466-300x206Former Yakima employee to receive $500k False Claims Act whistleblower reward.

Yakima Products, a maker of automobile accessories such as hitches and roof racks, will pay $3 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it knowingly underdeclared its customs duties and misdeclared the country-of-origin of its imports.

The qui tam whistleblower, a former director of operations at Yakima, filed the False Claims Act lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government, which intervened in the case.  He will receive 17% of the recovery—or more than $500,000—as a reward, and $75,000 in attorney’s fees to be paid by Yakima, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Container cargo freight ship with working crane bridge discharge at container terminal, Aerial top view container ship at deep sea port. Customs-Fraud Whistleblower receives $115K Award.

Drug distributor Danco Laboratories has agreed to pay $765,000 to resolve a federal whistleblower lawsuit alleging it violated the False Claims Act by failing to pay marking duties on products it imported from China without country-of-origin labels.

Imports are required to be labeled with their “country of origin,” meaning the country where the product was manufactured or produced or where work was performed resulting in its “substantial transformation” into the finished article.

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iStock-1210689410-300x200Coyne Public Relations of New Jersey allegedly applied for and obtained a forgivable PPP loan despite its ineligibility.

Coyne Public Relations, a New Jersey public-relations firm, has paid $2.24 million to the federal government to resolve a whistleblower case alleging that it knowingly applied for and received a forgivable loan under the Paycheck Protection Program despite its ineligibility.

The whistleblower, which alerted the government to the fraud by filing a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act, received a whistleblower award from the settlement of $203,000.

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iStock-950594464-300x169A former billing manager brought the misconduct to the attention of the Justice Department by filing a False Claims Act lawsuit.

Medical-testing firm Genotox Laboratories of Austin, Texas has agreed to pay $5.9 million to resolve allegations it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act by paying volume-based commissions to independent sales representatives and specimen collectors.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Genotox compensated sales representatives—whom it referred to as 1099 contractors in reference to their self-employment status under the U.S. Tax Code—based on a percentage of the revenues they generated, including from federal health care programs such as Medicare and Tricare.

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iStock-1093288618-300x188Three Adobe employees filed False Claims Act lawsuits exposing the scheme and will share a $555K whistleblower reward.

Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) has agreed to pay $3 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying illegal kickbacks to software-reseller partners in return for their promotion of the company’s products to government customers.

The U.S. government was fraudulently tricked into purchasing unnecessary software licenses, the U.S. Department of Justice alleged. It was also allegedly deceived into purchasing software bundles containing applications it never requested, and fraudulently billed for software licenses for the personal use of government employees on their home computers.