Indictment states California businessmen committed wire fraud and failed to report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission the fire-prone dehumidifiers.
The U.S. Justice Department said two California businessmen were indicted last week for their roles in importing and knowingly selling fire-prone dehumidifiers.
Simon Chu, 63, and Charley Loh, 60, were charged with wire fraud and lying to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the import of the “defective and dangerous” dehumidifiers imported from China.
The Consumer Product Safety Act requires manufacturers, importers and distributors of consumer products to report “immediately” to the CPSC information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, which Chu and Loh failed to do.
The indictment alleges that as early as September 2012, Chu, Loh and their companies received multiple reports that their Chinese dehumidifiers were defective, dangerous and could catch fire, but they continued to sell them to retailers.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and will be prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Allan Gordus and Trial Attorney Natalie Sanders of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph Johns and Dennis Mitchell of the Central District of California, with assistance from Patricia Vieira of the CPSC Office of General Counsel.