FedEx's Drug Case Worth Billions In Fines Has Paperwork Error, Gets Tossed Out

Did FedEx just win a legal battle with America involving prescription drugs worth $1.6 billion in fines... over a paperwork error? Although stranger things have happened, this might be FedEx's luckiest break in 2016.

After a year and a half of legal battles, FedEx finally had the charges dropped against them by the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in the case "United States of America vs. FedEx Corp et al, 14-cr-380."

According to a report from Reuters around August 15, 2014, FedEx was being accused by the courts and "[i]f convicted, FedEx could face fines of up to roughly $1.6 billion."

The charges that FedEx had dismissed included "conspiring to launder money in a U.S. criminal case over the company's drug deliveries for rogue online pharmacies despite warnings from law enforcement."

FedEx wins case during Asia expansion
FedEx recently expanded their operations to Asia. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Furthermore, they claimed FedEx knew it was accepting money from "several pharmacies when it knew the revenue was the product of invalid prescriptions."

Fast forward to over a year later, and around February 18, a federal judge dismissed a majority of the charges against FedEx, according to WRAL.

Adding to this, U.S. News wrote on March 20 that the errors included naming the "wrong defendant in an agreement that gave it more time to file charges" and this caused it to be "filed past the statute of limitations."

The request by the government to "substitute the correct defendant" was denied, and the judge "tossed out more than a dozen of the 18 counts against parent company FedEx."

Thankfully, according to a March 21 report from SF Gate, the complete dismissal of the "conspiring with Internet pharmacies to deliver drugs that were illegally bought online without a prescription" charges against FedEx came about because of "paperwork blunders by federal prosecutors."

Interestingly, the situation with FedEx is not the first time a major case has been dismissed over a "technicality." For instance, WQAD reports that Ted Cruz's case in Illinois over his citizenship was tossed out for technicalities.

ABC7NY reported in February that an unpopular case against a woman that rescued abandoned baby squirrels also had her court situation tossed out on a technicality.

Naturally, FedEx may also be happy to hang on to their $1.6 billion instead of paying fines because they invest hundreds of millions of dollars into charities around the world.

FedEx is involved in several community charities
FedEx is very charitable, and they have several ways to give back to community programs around the world. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for FedEx Office)

For instance, in addition to their FedEx Cares charity website, they also have a strong chapter at the Love to Know website. About their future charitable goals, FedEx Cares states the following.

"FedEx is investing $200 million in more than 200 global communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver solutions for people around the world."
Sadly, in other areas of the FedEx corporate world, things are not so lucky so far in 2016. For example, the heat is on with Amazon, and FedEx is currently battling with the online shopping giant by raising prices.

Guardian Liberty Voice explains that FedEx is not worried about a need to raise prices because they have spent decades building their system, and Amazon would have a hard time catching up.

The Street explained on March 22 that FedEx needs to impress shareholders, and their projections for the year are going strong. In particular, "by tapping into the Asian export markets, [FedEx is] going to open itself up to some potentially amazing growth."

The Asian export markets that they are talking about are explained by the Wall Street Journal. About FedEx moving into China, they state FedEx first bought Bongo International and "[FedEx] plans to expand its services to merchants in China and Japan by next June."

The Times Free Press explains that FedEx is also expanding in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and will open a new facility in August 2017.

Interestingly, it appears that expanding and donating to charity means FedEx is also having trouble with an important creditor rating system called Moody's.

According to a March 23 report from Fool, Moody's is worried about FedEx's "heavy spending" and cites that the issue relates to the fact that FedEx reinvests up to 90-percent of what it profits.

[Picture by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]