UPS Illegal Drug Deliveries Cost Company $40M

UPS paid $40 million to end a federal probe into illegal drug deliveries after the U.S. Department of Justice began investigation packages sent from online pharmacies without a prescription.

UPS was not the only shipping company implicated in the alleged illegal drug deliveries, and rival carrier FedEx was also under investigation in the drug trade probe. But while UPS and the DOJ came to an agreement Friday to settle the investigation for the $40 million sum, FedEx has made no such agreement.

Of the UPS illegal drug deliveries and subsequent settlement, the DOJ says the amount is equal to that collected from the suspect deliveries.

In a statement, UPS said illegal drug deliveries are a concern on which they are focused and that they will enhance security:

“We believe we have an obligation and responsibility to help curb the sale and shipment of drugs sold through illegal Internet pharmacies … UPS will pay a $40 million penalty and has agreed to enhance its compliance policies with respect to Internet pharmacy shippers.”

In a recent regulatory filing, FedEx addressed the illegal drug deliveries probe, and denied any wrongdoing. The rival carrier said:

“We believe that our employees have acted in good faith at all times. We do not believe that we have engaged in any illegal activities and will vigorously defend ourselves in any action that may result from the investigation.”

Friday, FedEx said in a statement in response to the UPS illegal drug deliveries settlement:

“It is unclear what federal laws UPS may have violated … We remain confident that we are in compliance with federal law.”

The Food Drug Administration said in a statement that “the positive actions taken by UPS in this case will send a message to other shipping firms to put public health and safety above profits.”