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US, Wire Harness Importer Settle FCA Claims That Company Avoided Over $2.5M in Duties

The U.S. and defendants led by importer Precision Cable Assemblies settled a False Claims Act case on allegedly underreported imports of wire harness assemblies. The suit was originally brought by Travis Grob, former vice president of operations at the Wisconsin-based Precision Cable Assemblies, as a qui tam action, giving Grob a cut of the settlement (United States v. Precision Cable Assemblies, E.D. Wis. # 22-00570).

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Precision Cable Assemblies manufactures wire harnesses, battery cables and custom moded assemblies as a contract manufacturer for companies that make tractors, refrigerators and other electromechanical equipment. The company makes wire harness importers and also imports them from its Chinese subsidiary.

Grob filed suit in a Wisconsin district court to allege that for over eight years the Chinese subsidiary submitted invoices for the assemblies that devaluated the cost associated with the products before being submitted to a customs broker. The lawsuit accused the importer of undervaluing over $2.5 million of customs duties per year for the last 10 years.

Notice of the settlement did not say how much Precision Cable Assemblies is to pay, though it instructs the company to pay the amount within 60 days. Counsel for the company did not respond to a request for comment.