Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act Settlement with UPS
As regular readers know, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has shown considerable interest in enforcing the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. He has taken steps to create an affirmative civil enforcement unit in his office, and he has intervened in some truly large cases, such as the one against guardrail manufacturer Trinity.
But holding a press conference to announce a big case and actually winning a big case are two very different things. So I was very happy to see the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act in the news this week when General Herring announced the Commonwealth’s settlement in United States et al. ex rel Robert Fulk v. United Parcel Service which was litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Relator filed his case against UPS in 2011 alleging that UPS knowingly charged federal, state, and local government entities for guaranteed delivery service and then knowingly failed to deliver by the promised time. Instead of being open and honest about the failure to make guaranteed-deliveries, UPS instead prepared false records and statements that showed that the deliveries had been made on time.
Mr. Fulk was represented in this case by Julie Grohovsy and Shan Wu and thier law firm, Wu Grohovsky & Whipple. I happen to have some familiarity with the case, as I served as an expert witness for Wu Grohovsky & Whipples’s fee petition to recover their statutory attorney’s fees, costs and expenses.
The first settlement — on behalf of the United States and the State of New Jersey — was announced on May 19, 2015, but it took more time to work out the settlement for the remaining states. The states settling this week included California, New York, Illinois, D.C., Virginia and nine others.
Moreover, New York City and the city of Chicago, both of which have city false claims acts, recovered money as well. The Commonwealth of Virginia will recover $241,056 in compensation for these inaccurately recorded late deliveries.
So congrats to Julie and Shan and the rest of the Wu Grohovsky & Whipple team!