August 3 - According to an agreement reached with the US Authorities, Panalpina will pay USD375,000 to settle a civil complaint regarding aledged violations by one of the company's former employees of the US False Claims Act.

Panalpina Houston had been named as one of a number of defendants in a qui tam civil complaint filed several years ago by a private party on behalf of the US government.

The complaint alleged that, in connection with the provision of logistics services, a former Panalpina employee provided unlawful entertainment to a customer's employees involving nominal entertainment expenses allegedly incurred in violation of the US False Claims Act by the Panalpina employee, which involved employees of Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) under the US government's Logistics Civil Augmentation Programs (Logcap III).

A Panalpina statement said that the majority of the alleged expenses involved the purchase of soda, meals and golf green fees. 

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, neither Panalpina nor the US government admit or deny any of the allegations, but have mutually agreed to close the investigation and dismiss the complaint, which was filed by qui tam plaintiffs, with prejudice.

Panalpina has agreed to pay USD375,000 to the US government to settle the matter, substantially less than settlement amounts paid by other defendants named in the plaintiffs' complaint, which reflects the level of Panalpina's cooperation, its strong compliance programme, and the fact that the alleged activities involved a former employee - without the knowledge, approval or involvement of the company's current management. 

After learning of the allegations, Panalpina conducted an internal investigation and concluded that any persons allegedly involved in any improper activity were no longer employed by the company.