CBP E-Allegation Leads to Criminal Conviction

On June 15, 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) announced that analysts of its trade fraud targeting unit, responding to a complaint filed through E-Allegations, CBP's online trade violation reporting system, uncovered a transshipment scheme to avoid paying antidumping duties on imported steel-wire hangers. The scheme was identified in December 2009 after analyzing a commercial allegation.  

Analysts pursued the lead, piecing together information about a Mexican manufacturer who appeared to be involved in the alleged illegal scheme where the hangers were shipped form China to the U.S., sent to Mexico, and then imported back into the U.S. as products of Mexico.  The 55-count indictment in the Southern District of California included conspiracy, entry of goods by means of false statements, false statement, wire fraud, and money laundering.  

The filing resulted in the sentencing of the responsible individual from Tijuana, Mexico, to 70 months in federal prison and an order to pay more than $3 million in restitution to the U.S. government as well as a forfeiture of more than $4 million in proceeds gained through the illegal transshipment scheme.