North Carolina Laboratory And Owner Agree To Pay More Than $1.9 Million To Resolve False Claims Act Allegations
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Red Ventures, LLC and MYMOVE, LLC (together, “MYMOVE”) have agreed to pay the United States $2.75 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly withholding funds owed to the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) under contractual agreements connected to the USPS change of address process.
The United States alleged that MYMOVE had a contractual obligation to share monthly gross revenue related to a certain program with USPS, but instead, MYMOVE improperly and secretly deducted some of its own costs before sharing revenue with USPS – essentially changing the contractual revenue share provision at issue from one of gross revenue to one of net revenue, a change favorable to MYMOVE’s profits at the expense of revenue owed to USPS.
The settlement also resolves allegations that MYMOVE improperly and knowingly allocated labor costs related to this same contract, under which MYMOVE bore all of the program costs, to another contract, that contained a profit-sharing agreement with USPS, thereby also increasing MYMOVE’s profits at USPS’s expense by improperly passing off a portion of its labor costs to USPS.
“This settlement demonstrates that those who cheat the government will be held accountable,” said Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. “My office will continue to investigate and hold responsible those who seek to profit from defrauding federal agencies.”
“We are gratified to have contributed to this investigation and applaud the exceptional work by the United States Attorney’s Office for protecting both U.S. Postal Service revenue and the integrity of our change of address program,” said Executive Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), Office of Inspector General (OIG). “Special Agents of the USPS OIG will continue to investigate those who would engage in fraudulent activities designed to defraud the Postal Service. The settlement delivered in this case represents a win for the USPS and for all law enforcement agencies who work together to ensure that justice is served.”
The civil settlement includes the resolution of claims brought under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by former MYMOVE employee Marcos Arellano. Under those provisions, a private party may file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. The qui tam case is captioned U.S. ex rel. Arellano v. MYMOVE, LLC and Red Ventures, LLC, No. 3:20-cv-255 (W.D.N.C.).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Johnson and Investigator Cathleen Hollowell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte investigated the matter in conjunction with the USPS Office of Inspector General.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only. There has been no determination of liability.