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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Tijuana man gets 70 months for violating US tariff laws

    I.C.E. News Release

    June 10, 2011
    San Diego, CA

    Tijuana businessman sentenced to 70 months for violating US tariff laws

    Defendant ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution for importing mislabeled wire hangers

    SAN DIEGO - The owner of two Tijuana dry cleaners has been sentenced to 70 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges in a 55-count indictment arising from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that he violated U.S. anti-dumping laws.

    Arturo Huizar-Velazquez, 49, of Tijuana, Mexico, was also ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution to the U.S. government and to forfeit more than $4 million in proceeds gained through the scheme.

    At the time of his guilty plea, Huizar-Valazquez, who owns Proveedoras de Limpiaduria de Tijuana and Huizar Cleaner de Mexico, admitted he purchased steel wire garment hangers from Chinese companies and had them shipped to the U.S. without marking the country of origin. After the hangers arrived in Long Beach, Calif., Huizar-Valazquez arranged for them to be shipped to Tijuana, Mexico, where they were falsely labeled as "Made in Mexico," before being shipped back to the U.S. through the Otay Mesa port of entry. The scheme allowed Huizar to exploit the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and avoid paying duty on the hangers.

    The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego and initiated by import specialists from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) who alerted HSI trade investigators when they became suspicious of Huizar-Valazquez's importation activities.

    "The sentence imposed on Arturo Huizar-Velazquez reflects the United States' commitment to punishing those who seek to gain unfair market advantage and evade United States' customs duties," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

    "This case serves as a warning to others who think they can get away with exploiting U.S. trade laws," said Miguel Unzueta, special agent in charge for ICE HSI in San Diego. "Our aggressive trade investigators are on their game. They've uncovered a complicated commercial fraud operation on the U.S./Mexico border that put law-abiding businesses at a disadvantage - it's payback time now."

    "This case was initially developed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import specialists who are charged with enforcing trade laws and ensuring duties are paid on imported merchandise," said Chris Maston, director of CBP Field Operations in San Diego. "Our CBP import specialists worked closely with special agents from ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Attorney's Office to ensure that illegal acts are met with the appropriate consequences. The sentencing and successful conclusion of this case, exemplifies the high level of cooperation and coordination within the federal law enforcement community to intercept, investigate, and prosecute individuals who attempt to circumvent the laws of the United States. This is also a great example of how our CBP import specialists and officers protect the revenue and the economic vitality of our country while protecting our borders."

    A co-defendant in the case, Jesus De La Torre-Escobar, 31, of Tijuana, Mexico, and one of Huizar-Velazquez's employees, pleaded guilty in January to one criminal count for making false statements to import goods. At the time of his plea, he admitted to having falsely told CBP officers the garment hangers were manufactured in Mexico. De La Torre-Escobar was sentenced to 365 days of time served in May and ordered to pay restitution of more than $3 million to the U.S. government.

    The anti-dumping tariff is a special import duty the U.S. imposes on foreign manufacturers that sell goods at prices that unfairly harm competing manufacturers in the United States. An anti-dumping duty exists on Chinese manufacturers of steel wire garment hangers.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

    ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.

    U.S. Dept of Homeland Security

    http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1106/1 ... ndiego.htm
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  2. #2
    Senior Member moptop's Avatar
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    Hangers really guys come on we can do better than this I'm sure the us hanger companies have left along time ago we should go for an industry that still exists in the US today!

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Federal agencies launch "Operation Chain Reaction"

    Increased focus on counterfeit items entering the US government supply chain
    http://www.alipac.us/ftopict-240953.html
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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    RELATED

    CBP Seizes $14.3 Million in Fake Designer Clothing in L.A.

    http://www.alipac.us/ftopict-240954.html
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Fake-logo caps, toys headed into Mexico seized

    By Pauline Repard, UNION-TRIBUNE
    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.

    OTAY MESA — Federal agents confiscated 100,000 shoddy baseball caps and remote-controlled toys sporting fake trademark logos, such as Padres and Jeep, that were headed into Mexico in April, authorities said Tuesday.

    The caps, allegedly manufactured without copyright licenses, could have sold for $1 million in the United States if they had been made legitimately, and the toys could have sold for $200,000, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

    As they were, the caps would have been sold for about $200,000 in Mexico, and the toys for about $11,000, Customs spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk said.

    The caps and the Jeep Wrangler knockoffs were seized in separate, unrelated shipments.

    In mid-April, Wasiluk said, Customs agents working at the Otay Mesa border crossing stopped a tractor-trailer rig for export inspection and found it loaded with scores of ballcaps stuffed in plastic bags. They bore logos for the FBI, Army, Padres, Camel cigarettes, 76 gas, cartoon characters and other entities.

    A Customs specialist examined the caps and decided that many lacked licensing information and were poorly made, Wasiluk said.

    A specialist made the same finding later in April when a truck with 100 boxes of remote-controlled, fake Jeep toys was stopped at the border crossing, Wasiluk said.

    She said the drivers were not arrested and no other arrests were made.

    [b]“The penalty was the loss of goods,
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    C.B.P. News Release

    Golf Consumers Beware: Online Counterfeiting on the Rise

    Counterfeit Golf Seizures Worth More Than $500K So Far This Year

    (Tuesday, June 14, 2011)

    Washington - U.S. Customs and Border Protection is seizing an increasing number of counterfeit golf products ordered by consumers over the internet. Seizures of counterfeit golf goods have increased by 33 percent from fiscal years 2009 to 2010 and 37 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.

    “CBP is sounding the alarm on a growing trend in the purchase of fake golf equipment,
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