Two Ocean Shipping Companies to Pay $3.4M

MarineLink.com
Monday, March 10, 2014

Sea Star Line LLC and Horizon Lines LLC have agreed to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by fixing the price of government cargo transportation contracts between the continental United States and Puerto Rico, the Department of Justice announced today. Under the settlement agreements, Sea Star Line has agreed to pay $1.9 million, and Horizon Lines has agreed to pay $1.5 million.  

“Today’s civil settlements demonstrate our continuing vigilance to ensure that those doing business with the government do not engage in anticompetitive conduct,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery.   “Government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of taxpayers will face serious consequences.”

The government alleged that former executives of the defendant ocean shippers used personal email accounts to communicate confidential bidding information, thereby enabling each of the shippers to know the transportation rates that its competitor intended to submit to federal agencies for specific routes.   This information allowed the shippers to allocate specific routes between themselves at predetermined rates.  Among the contracts affected were U.S. Postal Service contracts to transport mail and Department of Agriculture contracts to ship food.   Both Sea Star Line and Horizon Lines previously pleaded guilty, in related criminal proceedings, to anticompetitive conduct in violation of the Sherman Act.

“Postal Service contractors must understand and know that actions that undermine the contracting process, such as conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition, will not be tolerated and will be aggressively investigated,” said Tom Frost, Special Agent in Charge of the Major Fraud Investigations Division (MFID) with the Postal Service Office of Inspector General.  “MFID will continue to work with DOJ, both criminally and civilly, to bring those individuals and companies to justice.”

The civil settlements resolve allegations in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Jacksonville, Fla., by former Sea Star Line executive William B. Stallings.   The lawsuit was filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery.   The Act also allows the government to intervene and take over the action, as it did in this case.   Stallings will receive $512,719 of the recovered funds.

The settlements were the result of a coordinated effort by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.      

The case is captioned United States ex rel. Stallings v. Sea Star Line LLC, et al., Case No. 3:13-cv-152-J-12JBT (M.D. Fla.). The claims resolved by the settlements are allegations only, except to the extent the conduct was admitted as part of the defendants’ prior guilty pleas, and there has been no determination of liability.

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Location of New Port Expansion Projects: Analysis

When it comes to port development, many governments now favour letting the market decide where expansion should take place, whereas most other transport infrastructure,

Europe Sleep Walking into an Energy Crisis: Analyst

The downing of flight MA17 has prompted calls for further sanctions on Russia targeted at its energy sector. Douglas-Westwood in its 'DW Monday' analysis considers

GAC North America Passes the Helm to Schensema

GAC says it  has moved Claus Schensema to Houston, Texas, where he will take up the post of Managing Director of GAC North America Logistics. Schensema brings

Contracts

New Australian Navy Submarines to be Japan Built?

Australia should discuss building its next-generation fleet of submarines overseas, the Department of Defence said on Monday, a shift that could open the door to

Russian Navy Expansion Gathers Momentum

The Russian Navy celebrates its professional holiday by putting two new submarines into service and expects a new warship in the fall and several additional ships

Three Share in Navy US$96.8-M Twin-Ship Modernization Contract

The U.S. Department of Defense informs that AMSEC LLC; CDI Marine Co. LLC; and Q.E.D. Systems Inc., (all located in Virginia Beach, Virginia) are each being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee/cost-only,

Legal

Tanker with Iraqi Kurdish Oil Anchors off Texas Port

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was anchored near the Port of Galveston, Texas, and must undergo a routine safety inspection by the U.S. Coast

Panama's Alfonso Castillero Moves to Liberian Registry

The Liberian Registry informs that Alfonso Castillero, former Director-General of the Panama Registry, has joined their organization as Vice-President. Castillero

BV Group Launches Maritime Pilot Phase

Bureau Veritas Group Launched Maritime Pilot Phase for its Single Window for Foreign Trade in Togo. The ceremony took place in Lomé, under the patronage of the President of the Republic,

Cruise Ship Trends

Port Canaveral Initiates FDLE Probe

As a result of an internal investigation prompted by concerns raised from employees and in follow-up to prior internal suspicions, the Canaveral Port Authority

ISS's Innovative Series of New Travel Apps for Cruise Industry

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) the world’s leading maritime services provider, has launched an innovative series of travel apps for the cruise industry in Greece,

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Finance

Leighton HY14 net margin Up to 2.7%

Leighton Holdings announced its results for the six months to 30 June 2014.   * Total revenue of $11.9 billion, up on HY13 * EBITDAiii of $843 million. Comparable EBITDAiv of $945 million,

LNG to Acquire Bear Head LNG Project in Canada for US$11 mi

Liquefied Natural Gas Limited today announced that it has significantly expanded its presence in the North American Liquefied NaturalGas (LNG) sector by signing

Three Share in Navy US$96.8-M Twin-Ship Modernization Contract

The U.S. Department of Defense informs that AMSEC LLC; CDI Marine Co. LLC; and Q.E.D. Systems Inc., (all located in Virginia Beach, Virginia) are each being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee/cost-only,

News

Australia Approves Adani's $16 bln Carmichael Coal Project

The Australian government on Monday approved Indian firm Adani Mining Pty Ltd's controversial A$16.5 billion ($15.5 billion) Carmichael coal and rail project in Queensland,

Tanker with Iraqi Kurdish Oil Anchors off Texas Port

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was anchored near the Port of Galveston, Texas, and must undergo a routine safety inspection by the U.S. Coast

BOEM to Gather Data on Potential Oil & Gas Areas

As part of its commitment to a regionally tailored approach to safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Government Update

New Australian Navy Submarines to be Japan Built?

Australia should discuss building its next-generation fleet of submarines overseas, the Department of Defence said on Monday, a shift that could open the door to

Russian Navy Expansion Gathers Momentum

The Russian Navy celebrates its professional holiday by putting two new submarines into service and expects a new warship in the fall and several additional ships

Search for Flight MH370: Update

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) says that a bathymetric survey of the 60,000km2 search area is well underway, with two vessels, the Australian-contracted

Logistics

Location of New Port Expansion Projects: Analysis

When it comes to port development, many governments now favour letting the market decide where expansion should take place, whereas most other transport infrastructure,

GAC North America Passes the Helm to Schensema

GAC says it  has moved Claus Schensema to Houston, Texas, where he will take up the post of Managing Director of GAC North America Logistics. Schensema brings

Port Metro Vancouver’s Re-opens to Inbound Containers Trucks

Port Metro Vancouver has re-opened its Clark Drive access gate to inbound container trucks destined for the Centerm container terminal. Inbound access had been

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2500 sec (4 req/sec)