American Airlines has agreed to pay $22.1 million to settle allegations that it falsely reported delivery times of mail transported internationally on behalf of the US government.
The US Postal Service (USPS) contracted with the Dallas/Fort Worth-based carrier to transport receptacles of US mail from six US Defense and State Department facilities abroad to numerous international and domestic destinations.
In order to receive payment, American was required to submit electronic scans of the receptacles to USPS, which included time of delivery to specific locations. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that American falsified that data, potentially violating the False Claims Act.
There was no determination of liability on the part of American as part of the settlement.
“We expect companies doing business with the government to comply with their contractual obligations,” DOJ assistant attorney general Jody Hunt said in a statement. “The Department of Justice vigorously pursues all manner of fraudulent conduct that undermines the benefits that the government has bargained for.”
A spokesperson from American said in an emailed statement the company is “pleased that a settlement agreement was reached in this civil matter concerning problems with how we reported delivery times to the US Postal Service.”
“The allegations focused on conduct that was remedied years ago, and we have invested in new equipment and procedures to ensure that we are in full compliance with our commitments. The US Postal Service is an important customer for American, and we are glad to have corrected these procedures and put this matter behind us,” the spokesperson said.
The allegation was investigated by the Litigation Branch within the DOJ’s Civil Division, along with the USPS Office of Inspector General and the USPS Office of General Counsel.