Two Timber Firms Pay U.S. $1.6 Million in Damages in Timber Theft Cases
nigel.allen at canrem.com
Sun Apr 18 14:56:02 EST 1993
Here is a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Two Timber Firms Pay U.S. $1.6 Million in Damages
Contact: Joseph Krovisky of the U.S. Department of Justice
WASHINGTON, April 16 -- The Department of Justice
announced today that Bugaboo Timber Co. and Northwest Wood
Products Inc. will pay the United States $1,690,000 to settle
false claims allegations arising out of timber sale contracts with
the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of
Bugaboo and Northwest, affiliates of Young and Morgan Inc., are
major purchasers of timber from the Willamette and Mt. Hood
National Forests in Oregon. Under contracts permitting private
companies to purchase timber from federally owned land, the
government bills a purchaser for each log hauled from the forest
based upon its size, grade and species as determined by a
"scaler," who grades the log according to industry standards.
Scalers are independent, non-government workers.
In a countersuit filed Aug. 14, 1992, in the U.S. Court of
Federal Claims, the United States alleged that Bugaboo knowingly
submitted or caused to be submitted false scale tickets which
undervalued timber Bugaboo removed from the national forests.
Because Bugaboo's billings by the United States were based on
this inaccurate information, the Forest Service undercharged
Bugaboo for the timber. The government said the false timber
sales involved 10 contracts from 1985 through 1986.
The United States alleged that Bugaboo and Northwest, by
knowingly causing false scale tickets to be submitted to the
government, were liable for treble damages and civil penalties
under federal law.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart E. Schiffer said,
"This settlement marks a significant step in the Justice
Department's effort to recoup funds the Forest Service has lost
due to misscaling practices in the nation's forests."
This matter was handled jointly by the Civil Division and the
U.S. Attorney in Portland, Oregon, and was investigated by the U.S.
Forest Service National Timber Theft Task Force, which is
continuing an investigation of allegations of timber scaling
abuses in the North Santiam canyon.
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