The Department of Justice announced today that Pitney Bowes Presort Services Inc. (Pitney Bowes) has agreed to pay the United States $9.4 million to resolve allegations that it underpaid postage for mail processed at its Reading, Pennsylvania, facility by claiming discounts to which it was not entitled. Pitney Bowes, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska, helps prepare mailings for large mailers by, among other things, gathering, sorting and presenting the mail to the U.S. Postal Service.
“Those who obtain government benefits are expected to comply with the terms of those benefits,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “This settlement demonstrates that there will be consequences for those who do not live up to their obligations.”
The settlement announced today resolves allegations that Pitney Bowes claimed discounted postage rates for mail that failed to comply with the Move Update standard, which requires that mail be updated with change-of-address information provided by the Postal Service. Pitney Bowes was obligated to ensure that mail it submitted on behalf of its customers at discounted postage rates complied with Move Update, by either updating addresses on the mail directly or having its customers perform the updates. The Postal Service offered lower postage rates to Pitney Bowes for complying with Move Update and other requirements.
“When mailers don’t adhere to Move Update standards it negatively affects the entire mailing community,” said Inspector in Charge David W. Bosch of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s (USPIS) Philadelphia Division. “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to investigate mailers who fail to comply with postal regulations.”
This matter was jointly investigated by USPIS and the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch. The claims settled in this case are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.