Billboard Licensing Company Pays $2.85 Million To Resolve Allegations That It Defrauded The Postal Service
DENVER -- Jason Dunn, the United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, today announced a resolution that resolves fraud allegations against All Vision LLC (“All Vision”), a company that manages a portfolio of licenses for billboards and other outdoor advertising. Under the resolution announced today, All Vision will pay $2.85 million to settle allegations that the company made false statements and improperly withheld money owed to the United States Postal Service (“U.S. Postal Service”) in connection with the company’s marketing and management of various commercial outdoor advertising licenses. The settlement is in addition to approximately $5.2 million that the company has already paid back to the U.S. Postal Service.
The U.S. Postal Service leases land to billboard companies for advertising. All Vision manages licenses for billboards and other commercial outdoor advertising in locations such as New York, Texas, Minnesota and Missouri. All Vision formerly maintained an office and conducted its accounting operations in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In 2009 and 2011, the U.S. Postal Service entered into contracts with All Vision for All Vision to manage and market a portfolio of billboard advertising licenses with other companies. Under the contracts, All Vision was required to collect payments, including percentage rent and lump sum fee payments, from the companies. Once collected, All Vision was required to timely forward the payments, less its applicable fees, to the U.S. Postal Service.
The United States’ allegations in this matter relate to All Vision’s conduct under those contracts. The United States alleged that the U.S. Postal Service relied upon All Vision to collect and timely remit payments. Throughout the contract terms, however, All Vision misrepresented the actual amounts it had collected in various reports that it sent to the U.S. Postal Service. In addition, certain employees at All Vision knowingly withheld and failed to remit and report millions of dollars in percentage rent and lump sum fee payments owed to the U.S. Postal Service.
All Vision voluntarily repaid the U.S. Postal Service over $5.2 million in past-due amounts that the company identified through its own investigation, and has agreed to pay an additional $2.85 million to resolve the matter. All Vision also provided cooperation with the United States’ civil investigation.
The claims settled by this civil agreement are allegations. In entering into this civil settlement, All Vision did not admit liability.
“Companies entrusted with taxpayer money have an obligation to safeguard it,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “When they fail to do so, we will aggressively seek to hold them accountable.”
“We are gratified to have contributed to this investigation and applaud the exceptional work by the investigative and legal teams for safeguarding the contracting process and overall program costs,” said Scott Pierce, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. “The USPS OIG will continue to seek out and aggressively investigate those who would engage in activities detrimental to the U.S. Postal Service.”
The United States was represented in this matter by Assistant United States Attorney Lila Bateman.