Smuggling of Unsafe Children’s Products Yields Fines and Jail Time
Three Florida-based corporations and two individuals were recently sentenced for violations associated with the smuggling of hazardous children’s products from China, according to a Department of Justice press release. One individual received a $10,000 fine and a $200 special assessment, along with 22 months incarceration and three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic and smuggle children’s products, including toys, containing banned hazardous substances, such as lead and small parts, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. The other individual was given a $1,000 fine and one year of probation after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of submitting a false country of origin label. In addition, an $862,5000 forfeiture judgment and order was imposed against all five defendants.
According to the press release, from approximately April 2000 through May 2011 four of the five defendants conspired to sell and distribute in commerce children’s products imported from China in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. These products allegedly presented a risk of choking, aspiration and ingestion and some contained lead above the statutory limits. The defendants imported these products by means of false statements on custom declaration forms.