PHOENIX, Ariz. – United States Attorney Gary M. Restaino announced today that Plexus Worldwide, LLC (Plexus), an Arizona limited liability corporation that directly markets health and wellness products, agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve allegations that the company violated the federal False Claims Act (FCA).
The settlement resolves allegations by the United States that Plexus presented mail to the United States Postal Service (USPS) for delivery with postage that was based upon and calculated with attributes not associated with the items mailed, which resulted in underpaid postage. The United States also alleged that Plexus mailed other items with re-used postage. According to the United States’ allegations, the postage Plexus affixed to the mailed items represented that postage had been appropriately paid, when in fact, it had not, and the misrepresentations facilitated Plexus’ underpayment or non-payment of postage.
“The Postal Service is a unifying force in America,” said United States Attorney Restaino. “It has always delivered mail through snow and rain and heat and ‘gloom of night’; during the pandemic it delivered free masks to protect our Nation; and it increasingly connects our fellow citizens with access to the ballot box for local, state and federal elections. It is therefore incumbent on all businesses to pay their fair share to support this integral means of communication.”
“Mailers who underpay postage short-change the U.S. Postal Service of necessary funds to carry out our mission,” stated Phoenix Division Acting Inspector in Charge Glen Henderson. “Postal Inspectors are committed to protecting the Postal Service from abuse and ensuring its financial viability by holding businesses accountable for underpaying postage. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to vigorously investigate mailers who fail to comply with postal regulations.”
As part of the settlement, Plexus admitted to underpaying postage and submitting duplicate postage that resulted in a net deficit of postage due to the USPS. Plexus also admitted that it presented mail to the USPS for delivery, even though the postage weights and other attributes used to calculate postage were underreported, resulting in underpaid postage and duplicates. Additionally, Plexus admitted that systems and controls were lacking, resulting in duplicate postage and in payments that understated the postage due. Additional details of the United States’ allegations and Plexus’ admissions are set forth in the settlement agreement, available here.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case was handled by the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona.
Individuals with information regarding fraud, waste, or abuse related to federal programs should contact the relevant federal agency. A list of agencies and contact information can be found at https://www.justice.gov/usao-az/agency-links.
RELEASE NUMBER: 2023-114_Plexus