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Middlesex County Company Admits Undervaluing Merchandise to Avoid Paying U.S. Customs Duties

By kbm0423 on
Middlesex County

A Middlesex County company has entered into a settlement agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that it made false statements to avoid paying customs duties, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

According to the admissions and contentions of the United States in the settlement agreement:

Eos Energy Storage LLC (Eos) is a publicly-traded company headquartered in Edison that designs and sells industrial batteries to power companies and other commercial enterprises. 

From July 8, 2018, to June 7, 2019, Eos purchased components for its batteries from third parties in the United States and elsewhere. It then provided those components to a foreign manufacturer to be included in the assembly of batteries that Eos imported into the United States. 

Once the batteries were assembled, Eos imported them into the United States.

When Eos imported the assembled batteries into the United States, the company should have declared to U.S. Customs the value of the components that it provided to the foreign manufacturer. 

Eos failed to declare the value of those components to U.S. Customs. Eos also failed to declare transportation and packing costs that should have been declared. 

In the settlement agreement, Eos admitted that as the importer of record, it was obligated to declare the value of the components, as well as the transportation and packing costs, but failed to do so on more than 60 occasions. 

Under the settlement agreement, Eos will pay $1.02 million to the United States pursuant to the False Claims Act.

The settlement with Eos resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties, called relators, to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in a portion of the government’s recovery. 

The relator, Vincent Icolari, will receive 20 percent of the settlement amount recovered by the United States pursuant to the False Claims Act.