Centric Parts, a Carson-based auto parts supplier, has agreed to pay $ 8 million to settle two lawsuits that accused the company of forging documents to avoid paying millions of dollars in U.S. customs, said Tuesday. federal officials.
Centric Parts and its subsidiaries, which sell aftermarket brake and chassis components for passenger vehicles and trucks, import brake pads into the United States, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Centric Parts was responsible for submitting entry documents to customs and border protection, including for the payment of customs duties owed on the brake pads. But he allegedly falsified the tariff documents to avoid paying millions of dollars to the United States.
A representative from Centric Parts was not immediately available for comment.
The settlement was signed by various parties in early July.
From 2007 to 2017, Centric Parts imported mounted brake pads – which have a tariff of 2.5% – but was accused of falsely claiming they were unmounted brake pads, which did not ‘have no tariff.
When confronted in 2017, Centric Parts did not disclose any documents to officials, the Justice Department said.
Two former employees, Steven Hughes and Jeffrey Hawk, were whistleblowers in the case and have filed both lawsuits against Centric Parts on behalf of the government. They will receive a combined $ 1.5 million from the settlement, the Justice Department said.
The remaining $ 5.5 million is compensation, according to the settlement agreement.
Centric Parts filed for bankruptcy, but the court confirmed that the settlement debt must be paid by the reorganized company.
Last year, Centric Parts dismissed nearly 300 employees at its Carson manufacturing facility as some of its operations moved to Texas. The company’s catalogs feature 145,000 brake and chassis parts for almost any model of passenger car or truck since 1937.