The Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) is stepping up its efforts to identify violations of customs laws, such as anti-dumping and trade tariff evasion. The agency will receive $300 million for the hiring of additional staff, and whistleblowers are being incentivized to come forward with information about fraud and other violations. Considering that whistleblowers can receive up to 30 percent of recovered funds, and that these recoveries can be in the tens of millions, you may stand to receive a substantial payout if you have unique information about such violations.
Multiple customs tariff whistleblower lawsuits have been filed in the past two years. These cases typically involve companies that are attempting to evade duties on imports from other countries. For example, Univar, a global distribution company, was caught masking the origin of saccharine imports from China to avoid high anti-dumping duties. To do so, the company had the product re-packaged and labeled in Taiwan before shipping to its final destination in the U.S.
In other cases, companies may attempt to misrepresent the type of goods to declare them under a classification with a lower duty. A MA whistleblower attorney can help you determine how to move forward if you have information about customs tariff evasion, or similar illegal activity.
Customs Border Patrol Agents Need Help
Whistleblowers actually play a significant role in preventing fraud and evasion of import and export duties. Massive ships with hundreds of shipping containers on board come into the United States every day. Customs agents conduct inspections, but they can’t inspect every container on every ship, train, and truck. Even less so now that a major portion of their time is dedicated to fighting drug trafficking and terrorism. In fact, Customs and Border Patrol agents are expected to inspect less than two percent of the more than 20,000 containers slated for entry into the U.S. this year alone.
Federal False Claims Act Protections
The federal False Claims Act protects whistleblowers and encourages these “original sources” to report fraud and other illegal activity by filing a claim. These claims are also referred to as qui tam lawsuits. The Whistleblower Protection Program ensures that people who disclose allegations of certain activities are protected from retaliation. According to the Act, whistleblowers who report the following violations are protected:
- Violations of laws, rules, or regulations
- Any type of mismanagement
- The wasting of funds
- The abuse of authority
- A serious danger to public safety or health
The Importance of Whistleblowers
Thanks to whistleblowers, the federal government has been made aware of countless activities that could have a negative impact on the safety and health of the general public. Whistleblowers can be financially rewarded for reporting illegal activity in many industries, including pharmaceutical sales, defense, education, and finance, among others. A Boston whistleblower lawyer can help you file a qui tam lawsuit if you are aware of fraudulent or illegal activity in any of these industries.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Whistleblower Law Firm Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas
If you have information about fraud or customs tariff evasion, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. If you have unique information about this type of activity, you may be entitled to up to 30 percent of any recovered funds. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. We will analyze the details of your case to determine the most appropriate legal strategy, and we will ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.