FedEx faces fines of $1.6B for shipping illegally sold drugs

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The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into Federal Express, claiming the worldwide shipper is guilty of transporting prescription drugs that were illegally sold.

If found guilty, FedEx Corp. could face fines that surpass $1.6 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company could also be forced to pay more in restitution and forfeit some of its profits, the U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of California said.

The indictment that was filed in San Francisco — related to the main charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances — spanned 15 different counts. Specifically, the company is accused of ignoring warnings from the federal government from as far back as 2004 that it was breaking the law by shipping drugs from certain online pharmacies that only required buyers to fill out a brief question-and-answer form.

Prosecutors say the company netted at least $820 million from the accused illegal shipments.

The company, however, which faces a court hearing on July 29, denies wrongdoing, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We will defend this attack on the integrity and good name of FedEx and its employees,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, the senior vice president of marketing and communications.

The Drug Enforcement Administration partnered with federal authorities in California and spent a year investigating FedEx’s activities before filing the charges, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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