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Court of International Trade Takes Jurisdiction Over Civil FCA Case

Aug.04.2005

Distinguishing its own precedent holding that it has no jurisdiction over civil FCA lawsuits brought by qui tam relators, the U.S. Court of International Trade (USCIT) recently held in U.S. v. Universal Fruits and Vegetables Corp., 2005 WL 1592953 (July 6, 2005 http://www.cit.uscourts.gov/slip_op/Slip_op05/05-81.pdf), that it does have exclusive jurisdiction over non-qui-tam civil FCA actions brought by the government to recover unpaid customs duties. In this case involving government allegations that defendants avoided paying customs duties by making false statements to Customs officials, the USCIT confirmed a previous ruling of the Ninth Circuit that had transferred the matter to the USCIT for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

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