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FedEx employee emails claim firm overcharged businesses

NEW YORK (Reuters) - FedEx Corp ignored suspicions by an employee that it "systematically" overcharged business customers for years by billing them for higher residential delivery rates, according to emails made public in a lawsuit against the company.

"I have brought this to the attention of many people over the past five or six years, including more than one managing director, and no action has been taken to address it," Alan Elam, a FedEx sales executive, wrote in an August 2011 email that was unsealed on Monday by a federal judge in Memphis.

"My belief is that we are choosing not to fix this issue because it is worth so much money to FedEx," he wrote in a separate email to an unidentified superior the same day.

A FedEx spokeswoman said the 11 documents unsealed "do not tell the entire story of this case," according to reports by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. She said the company will continue to defend itself against the allegations in court.

The spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday evening.

The emails, which FedEx had tried to keep confidential, were filed as part of a lawsuit seeking class-action status. It alleges the package delivery company routinely charged higher residential fees for deliveries to obviously non-residential addresses, including courthouses, government offices and commercial office buildings.

Companies as large as Bank of America and Toyota Motor Credit , along with government agencies such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Office, were overcharged, the lawsuit asserts.

The suit was filed more than a year ago in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

The case is Manjunath A. Gokare P.C. v. Federal Express Corp., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, 11-02131.

(Reporting by Jed Horowitz and Terry Baynes in New York; Editing by Ken Wills)

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