Our firm helps secure $10.5 million whistleblower settlement over unpaid customs duties
Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that they had reached a settlement with Bassett Mirror Company over allegations our firm raised in a whistleblower lawsuit that the company had avoided paying millions of dollars in customs duties for wooden bedroom furniture it imported from China.
Bassett was not the only company to avoid payment of these anti-dumping duties. In our whistleblower lawsuit, we also named furniture retailers Z Gallerie and Macy’s as defendants. Z Gallerie settled their part of the case in 2016 by paying $15 million. The case against Macy’s has now been unsealed and we intend to pursue that company to make sure they pay their fair share as well.
This case began when our client approached us about what she thought may be misconduct in the furniture industry. We thoroughly investigated the case, prepared a detailed lawsuit, and met with government attorneys to get them to assist us in pursuing these companies. After a lengthy investigation of their own, the government agreed with our analysis and intervened to help us pursue our claims against Z Gallerie and Bassett.
As a result of our efforts in this case, the government has so far recovered $25.5 million for unpaid customs duties. Our client has been awarded $4.3 million of this amount, and will collect an even larger percentage of any recovery we obtain from Macy’s
Based on comments from the government attorneys, we believe that this case is the largest whistleblower recovery in the history of the Southern District of Georgia.
Our firm has had considerable success in whistleblower cases in federal court. The settlement with Bassett announced yesterday represents the fifth whistleblower claim we have successfully resolved in the last two years.
If you have knowledge of a company cheating the federal government, either by making false claims for payment or avoiding the payment of money it owes the government, you should consider reporting the fraud. Not only will you help save taxpayer money, you stand to earn a considerable monetary award if the case is handled properly by an experienced whistleblower attorney.
If you want to pursue a whistleblower lawsuit, the first step is to call our firm for a free and completely confidential discussion with one of our attorneys. Our current whistleblower clients are happy they did.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School.