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Contractor to Pay $8.7M |to Settle Fraud Claims

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (CN) - A military shipping contractor will pay $8.7 million to settle fraud claims, the U.S. attorney's office announced Wednesday.

Maersk Line Ltd., the world's largest cargo shipping line, transport cargo to military outposts in Afghanistan. A federal review found 277 instances of falsely made shipping claims containing forged signatures.

"I would note that to its credit, Maersk was cooperative in the investigation," U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said in a statement. "Aside from these containers, Maersk has successfully delivered thousands of shipments during the war effort.

" Maersk's overall conduct reflects a stronger performance and greater diligence than the relatively small amount of non-compliant warzone shipments would suggest, but, as I have noted, even a small amount of overall fraud becomes a huge waste of tax dollars, and I will not tolerate any such waste," Wigginton said.

Maersk, in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said the settlement is in no way an admission of fraudulent activity on the company's part.

The shipping line went on to say it has "already established new and more thorough invoicing and documentation processes," and does not expect the case to affect their "continued good cooperation with the U.S. Government."

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