The dispute between the US government and logistics group Agility has taken another twist with US prosecutors asking a federal court in Atlanta to reject a pre-trial motion by the company to dismiss the lawsuit against it.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in November, alleges that since 2003, the company formerly known at the Public Warehousing Co KSC, violated the False Claims Act by presenting or causing others to present false claims for payment under PWC’s multi-billion contracts with the Defense Logistics Agency to supply food for US service members serving in Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan.
The complaint alleges that defendants knowingly overcharged the United States for locally available fresh fruits and vegetables that PWC purchased through TSC. The complaint also alleges that PWC failed to disclose and pass through rebates and discounts it obtained from its US-based suppliers, as required by its contracts.
Since then the company has been in discussions with the US government with a view to resolving the dispute. It has been reported that the US government is looking for up to $750m in compensation.
PWC rejected the DoJ’s latest move, saying: “The Department’s filing today substitutes rhetoric for legal analysis and provides no justification for its decision to ignore longstanding US law on proper service of process. PWC welcomes the court’s review and eventual ruling on the matter.
“For seven years, PWC has fully performed its contracts with the US government to feed troops in Iraq and Kuwait. The US government has repeatedly recognised PWC for excellent performance under the most difficult war-time conditions. PWC has passed dozens of audits, inspections, compliance reviews and oversight procedures. The Company continues to be accountable to its US government customers – and to troops and taxpayers – every day.
“PWC believes that this case is a dispute over contract terms, not a criminal matter. The company remains committed to discussions with the Justice Department that are aimed at resolving the underlying dispute involving the Prime Vendor food contract.”