U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that six corporate entities have been found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to evade customs duties.

According to an ICE press release, aluminum extrusions subject to antidumping and countervailing duties when imported into the U.S. were spot-welded together to make them appear to be functional pallets. The annual reports of a Chinese producer claimed that there was a robust demand for aluminum pallets in the U.S. and that they were being sold to independent third parties. However, there were no customers for the 2.2 million pallets imported by the subject companies between 2011 and 2014 and no pallets were ever sold.

Instead, the vast majority of the pallets were stockpiled at four large warehouses purchased at the direction of the president of the Chinese producer. He then arranged for aluminum melting facilities to be built and acquired, which were to be used to reconfigure the aluminum imported as pallets into a form with commercial value.

The U.S. is seeking the criminal forfeiture of the warehouses involved and the seized aluminum. Sentencing in this case is scheduled for Dec. 13.

For more information on AD/CV duty evasion, please contact attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 or via email.  

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