British luxe retailer to pay $900,000 over US customs duties

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An English luxury knitwear retailer accused of splitting up shipments to evade U.S. customs duties has agreed on a civil settlement.

U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank says Pure Collection Ltd. and CEO Samantha Harrison, of Harrogate, England, have agreed to pay more than $900,000 to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act. Frank said Tuesday the settlement resolves allegations Pure and Harrison improperly avoided U.

S. customs duties on merchandise shipped from the United Kingdom to American customers, many of them located in Maine.

Prosecutors say Pure and Harrison evaded customs duties that U.S. customers normally would have paid by breaking up single shipments into multiple shipments of lesser value.

The company hasn’t returned a call seeking comment.

Prosecutors say Pure and Harrison cooperated throughout.

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This story has been corrected to show there was a settlement, not settlements.

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