Houston-based cargo handling company Jacintoport International LLC and its Miami-based ocean transport affiliate Seaboard Marine Ltd. agreed to pay $1.075 million to settle charges they violated the False Claims Act in connection with a warehousing and logistics contract for the storage and redelivery of humanitarian food aid. Specifically, the government alleged that Jacintoport, under the supervision and control of Seaboard, charged ocean carriers more for stevedoring than permitted to load over 50,000 tons of humanitarian food aid, and these inflated stevedoring charges were subsequently lumped into other costs for delivering humanitarian food aid and passed on to the government. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by John Raggio, a shipping contractor who allegedly received an invoice from Jacintoport that contained the excessive stevedoring charge. He will receive a whistleblower award of $215,000 from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ
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