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

People & Company News

W&O, LESER Partner to Deliver Safety Relief Valves

W&O, a global supplier to the marine and upstream oil and gas markets for pipe, valves and fittings, valve automation and engineered solutions, has partnered with

Fednav Celebrates Anniversary Trio in Cleveland

Fednav Limited held a reception on board one of its vessels, the Federal Mayumi, at the Port of Cleveland yesterday to celebrate a trio of anniversaries: the 70th

Karl Senner Inks Distribution Deal with Electronic Power Design

Karl Senner, LLC (KS) has reached a new strategic representation agreement with Electronic Power Design (EPD). Karl Senner, LLC now represents EPD in the United States marine and offshore Markets.

Contracts

Diana Extends Containership Time Charters

Diana Containerships Inc. announced direct continuation of time charter agreements for m/v Cap Domingo and m/v Cap Doukato   Diana Containerships Inc., a global

BMT Supports Samalaju Port Development

BMT subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region have been awarded a contract to provide design expertise for an advanced bulk-material handling system for the emerging port of Samalaju in East Malaysia.

EU: Ships Will Measure CO2 Emissions

Shippers to begin monitoring from 2018; Environmental groups say law is weak, shippers favorable. The shipping sector will for the first time have to monitor

Finance

New Company Takes Over OW Tanker

OW Tanker, a unit of bankrupt OW Bunker and owner of its marine fuel supply ships, has been taken over by a newly-created company, the fleet manager told Reuters on Wednesday.

WRRDA: Clearing the Channel for P3 Projects

A Creative Combination for Financing Inland Waterways Infrastructure Earlier this year, the U.S. maritime industry in general, and the inland waterways industry in particular,

Choosing the Best Financing Proposal

It isn’t always about the rate. In a robust boatbuilding market – like the one we see now – even the most successful, financially stable operators need to borrow.

News

ClassNK Approves Niigata Dual-fuel Engine Design

Classification society ClassNK has granted approval to the design of the new 28AHX-DF dual-fuel engine developed by Niigata Power Systems Co., Ltd. The new engine

MacGregor Deck Equipment for Intership's Eco-bulkers

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has secured a deck equipment contract from New Times Shipyard in China for Intership Navigation Co Ltd.'s three new 36,500 dwt laker-class bulk carriers.

W&O, LESER Partner to Deliver Safety Relief Valves

W&O, a global supplier to the marine and upstream oil and gas markets for pipe, valves and fittings, valve automation and engineered solutions, has partnered with

Government Update

WRRDA: Clearing the Channel for P3 Projects

A Creative Combination for Financing Inland Waterways Infrastructure Earlier this year, the U.S. maritime industry in general, and the inland waterways industry in particular,

EU: Ships Will Measure CO2 Emissions

Shippers to begin monitoring from 2018; Environmental groups say law is weak, shippers favorable. The shipping sector will for the first time have to monitor

Melbourne Box Pot Lining Up Bidders

Three of Australia's largest infrastructure funds plan to bid for the country's largest container terminal in a sale expected to fetch about A$5 billion ($4.27 billion) for Victoria state,

Logistics

Fednav Celebrates Anniversary Trio in Cleveland

Fednav Limited held a reception on board one of its vessels, the Federal Mayumi, at the Port of Cleveland yesterday to celebrate a trio of anniversaries: the 70th

Night Moves on America's Waterways

Overnight operations are certainly not unusual on America’s inland waterways, but that doesn’t make them any less hazardous. Onboard activities that seem so straightforward

CMA CGM Acquires OPDR

The CMA CGM Group has acquired the German shipping company Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffs-Rhederei GmbH & Co. KG (OPDR), CMA CGM founder, chairman and CEO Jacques R.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Salvage Ship Repair 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: 0.1876 sec (5 req/sec)