USPS Drops Investigation Against Cintas for Padding Bills

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer

The Justice Department and three federal agencies have decided not to file criminal or civil charges against Mason-based Cintas Corp. for tacking environmental charges onto billings from 1998 to 2002. In response to a request from The Enquirer, the U.S. Postal Service provided a document stating that it dropped its pursuit of recovering $816,733 in October. The move occurred after the Justice Department elected not to file criminal charges for Cintas’ including environmental fees in billings to the Postal Service, the Department of the Army’s Criminal Investigations Division, the General Services Administration and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

“Following the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute, it was decided it was not practical for the Postal Service to pursue contract litigation,” Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan said Friday.

In a 10-page document released by the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, the agency said it had been assessed $816,733 from May 1998 to September 2002. Although Cintas told the agency that the environmental charges were to defray costs incurred in what McKiernan described as cleaning contracts, the Inspector General’s Office found that Cintas misrepresented the purpose of the charges and did not assess them uniformly from one customer to another.

Cintas, the nation’s biggest supplier of uniforms, also sells floor mats, restroom supplies, first-aid and safety products, and document-shredding services

In an earlier report: The Postal Service opened its investigation in September 2002 to determine whether Cintas had defrauded it and two other agencies by padding bills with unspecified “environmental charges.” U.S. Reps. Danny Davis, D-Ill., and Tom Lantos, D-Calif., had asked Postmaster General John Potter to rescind the agency’s contract with Cintas.