A Federal grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico returned a three-count indictment against five individuals and three companies for evading the payment of antidumping and countervailing duties. Specifically, the indictment charges the individuals and the companies with conspiracy to smuggle goods into the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Antidumping and countervailing duties are additional duties imposed on importers recieving merchandise from exporters determined to be engaged in unfair trade practices that injury U.S. manufacturers.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("Customs") press release, the defendants imported aluminum extrusions from China into the United States by using false and fraudulent invoices and documents in order to evade paying the required duties. The false and fraudulent documentation attempted to conceal the true country of origin (China) by claiming the aluminum extrusions were from Malaysia. Defendants attempted to defraud the United States of approximately $26.7 million in antidumping and countervailing duties.
The indictment requests judgments of $26.75 million for the unpaid duties and $6.9 million for the money laundering count. The government seeks to forfeit real estate properties and bank accounts as substitute assets. If found guilty, the defendants could face a possible sentence of twenty years in prison.