Air France-KLM to pay millions in US mail scandal settlement

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Photo: Shutterstock

Air France-KLM has agreed to pay $3.9m to resolve its alleged liability under the US False Claims Act for falsely reporting information about the transfer of US mail to foreign posts or other intended recipients under contracts with the US Postal Service (USPS).

This is according to the US Department of Justice (DOT), which said USPS contracted with Air France-KLM to take possession of receptacles of US mail at six locations in the US or at various Department of Defence and State Department locations abroad, and then deliver that mail to numerous international and domestic destinations.

To obtain payment under the contracts, Air France-KLM was required to submit electronic scans of the mail receptacles to USPS reporting the time the mail was delivered at the identified destinations.

The contracts specified penalties for mail that was delivered late or to the wrong location.

The settlement resolves allegations that scans submitted by Air France-KLM  falsely reported the time and fact that they transferred possession of the mail.

This is the seventh civil settlement involving air carrier liability for false delivery scans under the USPS ICAIR Contracts, and collectively the US has recovered more than $84m as a result of its investigation of such misconduct.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability, said the US DOT.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that government contractors provide the services for which they are paid,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s civil division. “When contractors knowingly fail to meet their obligations, we will pursue appropriate remedies to redress the violations and deter future ones.”

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