(Henry Cutter – Wall Street Journal)
Whistleblower lawyers see room for extra business on a new front: chasing customs-linked wrongdoing ranging from failing to label imported goods to shipping rhinoceros horn across the border.
A U.S. appeals-court ruling opened the door to more whistleblower lawsuits in 2016, making it clear that a Civil War-era law known as the False Claims Act applies in a broader range of cases. The Supreme Court backed that view last October, declining to hear an appeal of the case, United States ex. Rel. Customs Fraud Investigations LLC v. Victaulic Co.
“It gave a green light to prosecuting importers who don’t mark their goods with the foreign country of origin,” Anna Haac, one of the Tycko & Zavareei LLP lawyers who argued the case on behalf of the whistleblower, said of the Victaulic decision. “It strengthened the FCA as an enforcement mechanism that can be used to go after customs-duty evasion.” Click here to read more.