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Customs Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in customs and tariffs. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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August 11, 2022

Menswear company Luchiano Visconti Loutie LLC d/b/a Luchiano Visconti and its manager Sasha Hourizadeh will pay $3.64 million for violating the False Claims Act by underreporting the value of imported apparel, resulting in over $1.8 million in evaded customs duties. Visconti and Hourizadeh regularly provided falsified invoices to customs brokers that significantly understated the true value of the imported menswear. In some instances, a complicit foreign manufacturer would provide Visconti two sets of invoices—one reflecting itemized pricing details at a reduction, and the second reflecting “services” provided which, when combined, reflected the actual value of the goods. A related whistleblower suit was filed prior to the Government joining the matter. USAO SDNY

August 11, 2022

Industrial battery maker Eos Energy Storage LLC will pay $1.02 million, after a whistleblower filed suit alleging violations of the False Claims Act. From mid-2018 to mid-2019, Eos failed to declare the value of certain components shipped overseas to be assembled and then imported back into the United States. Eos also failed to declare transportation and packing costs on more than 60 occasions, which Eos further acknowledged was their responsibility as importer of record. The whistleblower will receive 20% of the settlement amount. USAO NJ

April 11, 2022

Six California-based companies that conspired with a Chinese billionaire to defraud U.S. Customs and Border Protection and investors worldwide have been ordered to pay $1.83 billion in restitution.  A federal jury found that Perfectus Aluminum Inc., Perfectus Aluminum Acquisitions LLC, Scuderia Development LLC, 1001 Doubleday LLC, Von Karman – Main Street LLC, and 10681 Production Avenue LLC skirted the U.S.’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) on certain types of extruded aluminum imported from China by disguising them as functional pallets.  USAO CDCA

July 28, 2021

Clothing companies Stargate Apparel, Inc. (now known as Excel Apparel Corp.), Rivstar Apparel, Inc. (now defunct), and former CEO and owner Joseph Bailey have agreed to pay a total of $6 million to settle a whistleblower’s allegations that they submitted false claims to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  Between 2004 and 2015, Stargate, Rivstar, and Bailey allegedly engaged in two different fraud schemes to avoid paying millions of dollars in customs duties.  Both of the schemes involved submitting separate invoices to the CBP, which underreported the true value of goods being imported into the United States.  USAO SDNY

Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/14/21
Lincoln bill zoomed on his face
This year’s Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act Recoveries demonstrates the False Claims Act’s power to combat an array of corporate misconduct spanning diverse industries. In 2020, the United States recovered hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds obtained through claims rendered false by bribery and bid-rigging schemes, mortgage underwriting fraud, avoided import duties, fraudulent loan applications, and...

Top Ten Federal Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/14/21
man pocketing cash in suit
The U.S. government has many enforcement options for financial and investment fraud, including those that provide for whistleblower rewards such as the SEC Whistleblower Program, the CFTC Whistleblower Program, and the IRS Whistleblower Program.  These programs, along with a new one under the Anti-Money-Laundering Act of 2020, are open for business and promise to pay millions of dollars in whistleblower awards in...

December 10, 2020

Four affiliated jewelry importing companies – Roman & Sunstone LLC; ISTAR Jewelry LLC; Ansun Inc.; and Starkes Gems Inc. – agreed to pay $866,068 to resolve claims made in an action brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that they evaded customs on earrings imported from China by misrepresenting the quantity imported.  The whistleblower will receive an award of approximately $152,000.  USAO MA

October 30, 2020

Days and Towers, LLC will pay over $800,000 to resolve charges that it violated the False Claims Act between 2015 and 2019 through its submission of false tariff schedules to reduce its customs obligations on imported products.  USAO PR

September 25, 2020

A multinational industrial engineering company headquartered in Germany has agreed to pay $22 million to settle allegations of violating the False Claims Act.  In order to avoid paying certain import duties over a six year period, Linde GmbH and its Houston-based subsidiary, Linde Engineering North America LLC knowingly misrepresented the nature, classification, and valuation of its merchandise, which is used in the construction of natural gas and chemical manufacturing plants.  The misconduct was first brought to the government’s attention by a whistleblower, who will receive a $3.7 million share of the settlement proceeds.  The defendant later made a partial disclosure to the government prior to the government’s disclosure of its investigation.  DOJ; USAO EDPA

Putting a Stop to Illegal Imports from Forced Uyghur Labor

Posted  09/18/20
barbed wire
The world has watched in horror as, starting in 2018, up to two million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been arrested, relocated, or otherwise forced into internment centers in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.  The government of the People’s Republic of China has separated thousands of Uyghur children from parents, forced methods of control on women, and inflicted physical and psychological...
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