Company Fined $3.8 Million for Making False Statements to Obtain Ex-Im Loans
The Justice Department announced March 12 that a Miami-based lender and financial services company has agreed to pay $3.8 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that it made false statements and claims to the Export-Import Bank of the United States in order to obtain loan guarantees.
The Ex-Im Bank guarantees loans made by approved lenders to foreign businesses for the purchase of U.S.-made products. The lender is responsible for performing a credit review of the transaction to ensure that it meets applicable criteria. The U.S. government alleged that a Peruvian-based former business agent of the Miami-based company created false documentation to obtain Ex-Im Bank guarantees on fictitious transactions on which no products were sold or exported, and that the Miami-based company acted recklessly by outsourcing key credit review functions to the business agent without adequate supervision or oversight. The government alleged that the business agent then diverted the proceeds of the loans to himself and to his friends and business associates in Peru, and that the transactions resulted in losses to the Ex-Im Bank when the loans were not repaid.
This settlement resolves allegations made in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers will receive $608,000 of the settlement.