Clothing importer Motives, Inc. and its affiliated foreign clothing manufacturers Motives Far East and Motives China Ltd. agreed to pay $13.375 million to settle charges of violating the False Claims Act by engaging in a double invoicing scheme to defraud the United States out of millions of dollars in customs duties. As part of the settlement, the companies admitted to and accepted responsibility for under-reporting the value of its imported merchandise. Under the scheme, the companies used two sets of invoices: one that undervalued the garments and was presented to the government for calculation of the appropriate customs duty, and the second that reflected the actual value of the garments. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblower will receive a yet-to-be-determined whistleblower award from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ (SDNY)
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