APL pays nearly $10 million to settle claims that it submitted false claims for GPS tracking of DOD shipments

by Ben Vernia | October 27th, 2015

On October 27, the Department of Justice announced that the ocean freight company APL, Ltd., had agreed to pay $9.8 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in connection with its DOD contracts for GPS tracking of shipments to Afghanistan. According to DOJ’s press release:

APL Limited has agreed to pay the government $9.8 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in connection with a contract to provide GPS tracking of shipping containers in Afghanistan, the Justice Department announced today.  APL, an ocean carrier based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a wholly-owned American subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Limited.

The Department of Defense contract required APL to affix a satellite tracking device to each shipping container transported from Karachi, Pakistan to U.S. military bases in Afghanistan when the Department of Defense (DOD) requested the tracking services.  The United States alleges that APL billed the DOD for tracking services despite knowing that the tracking devices completely or partially failed to transmit data, or were not affixed to shipping containers.  The government also claims that APL attached a single satellite tracking device to two shipping containers despite being required to affix one device to every container.

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The settlement apparently resulted from a government-commenced investigation, rather than a whistleblower’s lawsuit.

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