7 Aug 2012

US govt drops claim to Sanford earnings

1:45 pm on 7 August 2012

The American government has withdrawn a claim that Sanford forfeit $US24 million in earnings if it's found guilty of illegally discharging polluted bilge water in American Samoa.

The US Department of Justice alleges one of Sanford's tuna fishing boats, the San Nikon, failed to maintain an accurate oil record book, which led to illegal pollution discharges, and also obstructed the investigation.

The case is currently under way in a Washington DC district court.

Despite the claims to earnings being dropped, Sanford still faces charges that could lead to loss of the boat and total fines of up to $US3.5 million.

Sanford has no further comment to make, but has previously said it will vigorously defend the charges in court.