• ITVI.USA
    16,014.360
    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.006
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.430
    0.240
    1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,995.600
    10.280
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.930
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.620
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.330
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.570
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.390
    0.070
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.130
    0.020
    0.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,014.360
    14.660
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.006
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.430
    0.240
    1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,995.600
    10.280
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.930
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.620
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.330
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.570
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.390
    0.070
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.130
    0.020
    0.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Pa. importer pays $3 million to settle duty evasion case

Three Pennsylvania importers and their owners have agreed to pay $3 million to settle allegations that they attempted to defraud the government out of duties on imports subject to antidumping.

   Three Pennsylvania importers and their owners—Ameri-Source International Inc., Ameri-Source Specialty Products Inc., Ameri-Source Holdings Inc., Ajay Goel and Thomas Diener—and a related importer, SMC Machining, incorporated at Goel’s direction and formerly owned by his wife, have agreed to pay $3 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday.  
   The lawsuit alleged that the defendants attempted to evade customs duties on imports of small-diameter graphite electrodes from China, which are used to fuel electric arc and ladle furnaces for steel manufacturing.  
   The Justice Department noted that the imports in this case have been subject to antidumping duties since Aug. 21, 2008. Dumping occurs when products are imported and sold in the United States at less than fair market value.  
   According to the settlement, Ameri-Source International evaded antidumping duties on 15 shipments of small-diameter graphite electrodes from China between December 2009 and March 2012 by allegedly misclassifying the electrodes.  
   In U.S. District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Ameri-Source International admitted that on April 27 and June 9, 2011, the company falsely declared imported cargo from China as being graphite rods greater than 16 inches in diameter, which is not subject to antidumping duties. Chief Judge Joy Flowers Conti immediately sentenced the corporation to pay a $250,000 criminal fine within 10 days and applied the payment of the $3 million to the loss of antidumping duties of $2,137,420.
   The allegations of duty evasion in this case were raised by whistleblower Graphite Electrode Sales under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The United States may intervene in and take over the lawsuit, as it did with the case against Ameri-Source and its owners. The False Claims Act also allows the whistleblower to receive a share of any funds recovered through the lawsuit. Graphite Electrode Sales, in this case, will receive about $480,000 as its share of Monday’s settlement, the Justice Department said.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.

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