Informant’s Allegation. Customs Penalty Investigation. $1.2M Penalty.
An importer of computer cable assemblies (Bizlink) has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle allegations that it violated the civil False Claims Act by underpaying customs duties.
Based upon allegations from a former manager, the U.S. Customs opened an investigation leading to the penalty. The U.S. government alleged that Bizlink underpaid customs duties through the use of a double invoicing scheme. A lower invoice was presented to CBP for purposes of calculating duties owed. A higher invoice was used for payment of the imported computer cables.
Bizlink will pay $1,200,000 as a result of the Customs penalty investigation and the Government / qui tam settlement. The informant will receive $252,000.
Companies who discover import mistakes before the government initiates an investigation can substantially reduce their liability to the government by properly submitting a Prior Disclosure to U.S. Customs & Border protection. Contact a qualified Customs & International Trade Attorney promptly to discuss and minimize penalties.