February 22, 2016
Pennsylvania-based importers Ameri-Source International Inc.
, Ameri-Source Specialty Products Inc.
, Ameri-Source Holdings Inc.
, their owners, Ajay Goel and Thomas Diener, and the related importer, SMC Machining LLC
agreed to pay $3 million to resolve charges they violated the False Claims Act by engaging in a scheme to evade customs duties on imports of small-diameter graphite electrodes from China. According to the government, Ameri-Source evaded antidumping duties on 15 shipments of the electrodes by misclassifying the size of the electrodes to avoid paying the duties, which do not apply to larger diameter graphite electrodes. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Graphite Electrode Sales Inc. under the qui tam
provisions of the False Claims Act. The company will receive a whistleblower award of approximately $480,000 from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. Whistleblower Insider