Virginia, Localities to Get More than $2M from Settlement

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File Image: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) File Image: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring says Virginia and affected localities will receive more than $2 million from a multistate settlement with a medical waste disposal company.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit that alleged Illinois-based Stericycle Inc. overcharged government entities in violation of state and federal false claims laws. The lawsuit said fuel and energy surcharges added by the company didn't reflect actual fuel and energy cost increases.

Herring said Tuesday in a news release that more than 200 local and state government entities in Virginia were affected by the alleged overcharges.

Virginia is one of 12 states that participated in the lawsuit, along with the District of Columbia and the federal government.

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News Release from the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General:

RICHMOND (October 27, 2015) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Virginia's participation in a $26.75 million settlement with Stericycle, Inc., an Illinois-based medical waste disposal company, stemming from allegations that the company overcharged government entities by millions of dollars and violated the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act and the false claims laws of 11 other states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government. Under the agreement, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and more than two hundred local and state government entities will recover over $2 million in compensation for alleged, improper fuel surcharges that did not reflect actual increases in energy costs and violated existing contracts. Affected localities in Virginia will be notified in the coming weeks.

"Virginia taxpayers expect companies to play by the rules and Stericycle violated their trust, and the trust of more than two hundred local and state entities in Virginia," said Attorney General Mark. R. Herring. "We will continue to work tirelessly for Virginia consumers to ensure that companies cannot profit off of taxpayer dollars through improper business tactics in the Commonwealth."

The lawsuit alleged that Stericycle violated state and federal false claims laws by overcharging government customers by adding fuel and energy surcharges that did not reflect actual increases in fuel and energy costs. According to the lawsuit, these increases - amounting to 18 percent every nine months - violated prices set by contracts.

In addition to Virginia, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and the federal government will receive portions of the settlement.

Assistant Attorney General Peter E. Broadbent, III represented the Commonwealth in this matter.

Last week, Attorney General  Herring announced a $4 million dollar settlement with UPS under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act for overcharging government entities. 

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