MEMPHIS: The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an additional indictment against FedEx Corp alleging the company was involved in money laundering when providing shipping services to illegal Internet pharmacies.
Last month the company denied charges brought by DOJ attorney for Northern California Melinda Haag - an Obama political appointee - that it has been involved in drug trafficking by carrying shipments on behalf of the pharmacies.
In 2013 UPS paid US$40 million and signed a "Non-Prosecution Agreement" to avoid charges for allegedly similar behaviour.
Patrick Fitzgerald, FedEx senior vice president Marketing & Communications said the new indictment relates to the multi-year investigation of the same two groups of online or Internet pharmacies who operated in violation of U.S. federal law.
"FedEx is innocent of these and all of the charges filed in this matter," Fitzgerald said in a statement: "We will plead not guilty. We will continue to defend against this attack on the integrity of FedEx. We continue to ask for a list of all Internet pharmacies engaging in illegal activity so we can turn off shipping for those companies immediately. We have asked for a list, and they have sent us indictments.
"FedEx, like all common carriers, transports a wide range of goods, including some that can be harmful if misused or abused. Illegal activity by online pharmacies that results in prescription drug abuse and deaths is a problem that needs to be solved.
"We stand ready to help deliver the solution by working with law enforcement, but the responsibility to monitor, regulate or police the activities of doctors and pharmacists lies with licensing, regulatory and law enforcement authorities, not shipping companies.
"The revised indictment adds counts related to services provided to and payments from online pharmacies. FedEx, of course, requires customers to pay for our services. The collect on delivery service referenced in the indictment is available to all of our millions of FedEx Express customers," Fitzgerald added.
In an unrelated move, FedEx and UPS have been awarded licenses to extend their services within China. Read more: