Companies accused of evading duties

Jan 17, 2014 | 06:10 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Justice Department, C.R. Laurence, Southeastern Aluminum Products, Waterfall Group, James Whitefield, Basco Manufacturing, Don Gamble, Tai Shan Golden Gain Aluminum Products Robert Wingfield

CHICAGO — Three shower-enclosure companies avoided U.S. duties on aluminum extrusions made in China by transshipping them through Malaysia, the U.S. Justice Department has alleged.

Los Angeles-based C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Aluminum Products Inc. and Waterfall Group LLC, Carrollton, Texas, made false statements to U.S. Customs officials and violated the False Claims Act, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Florida, which seeks unspecified penalties and damages.

Southeastern Aluminum said it has cooperated with Customs and the Justice Department, but disputes allegations that it intentionally violated any laws regarding duties. "We will continue to try to resolve the lawsuit in a reasonable way, and if that is not possible (we) will contest the allegations vigorously," the company said Jan. 17 in a faxed statement to AMM.....

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