Ohio-based office supply firm settles false-labeling allegations for $450,000

by Ben Vernia | May 12th, 2012

On May 8, the Department of Justice announced that Direct Resource, Inc., has settled a False Claims Act suit initiated by a whistleblower regarding the false labeling of goods sold to the United States. According to DOJ’s press release:

Direct Resource Inc. has agreed to pay the government $450,000 to resolve allegations that the company falsely claimed payment in violation of the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), which prohibits the sale of products to federal agencies from countries that do not have a reciprocal trade agreement with the United States, the Justice Department announced today. The Columbus, Ohio, company allegedly knowingly sold products from China, a country that does not have such an agreement with the United States.

Direct Resource sells a variety of products to U.S. agencies, including office supplies. The General Services Administration (GSA) contracts at issue require that all products sold to the U.S. government be manufactured in one of a list of designated countries deemed to trade fairly with the United States.

The government announced that the whistleblower will receive $67,500 of the total (a relator’s share of 15%).

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