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Press Release

Middlesex County Company Admits Undervaluing Merchandise to Avoid Paying U.S. Customs Duties

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, company has entered into a settlement agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that it made false statements to avoid paying customs duties, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

According to the admissions and contentions of the United States in the settlement agreement:

Eos Energy Storage LLC (Eos) is a publicly traded company headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, that designs and sells industrial batteries to power companies and other commercial enterprises. From July 8, 2018, to June 7, 2019, Eos purchased components for its batteries from third parties in the United States and elsewhere, and then provided those components to a foreign manufacturer to be included in the assembly of batteries that Eos imported into the United States. Once the batteries were assembled, Eos imported them into the United States.

When Eos imported the assembled batteries into the United States, the company should have declared to U.S. Customs the value of the components that it provided to the foreign manufacturer. Eos failed to declare the value of those components to U.S. Customs. Eos also failed to declare transportation and packing costs that should have been declared. In the settlement agreement, Eos admitted that as the importer of record, it was obligated to declare the value of the components, as well as the transportation and packing costs, but failed to do so on more than 60 occasions. Under the settlement agreement, Eos will pay $1.02 million to the United States pursuant to the False Claims Act.

The settlement with Eos resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties, called relators, to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in a portion of the government’s recovery. The relator, Vincent Icolari, will receive 20 percent of the settlement amount recovered by the United States pursuant to the False Claims Act. 

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations under the direction of Director Francis Russo in New York, with the investigation leading to the settlement.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David V. Simunovich of the Health Care Fraud Unit in Newark.

The qui tam case is captioned United States ex rel. Icolari v. Eos Energy Storage, LLC, Civil Case No. 19-22129 (MCA) (LDW).

Updated August 11, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-297