men and three companies have been accused of shipping aluminum
extrusions from China into the United States using false
invoices indicating that the metal came from Malaysia,
according to federal prosecutors in Puerto Rico.
The alleged scheme was
used in an effort to avoid paying $26.7 million in antidumping
and countervailing duties that would have been imposed on the
Chinese material, prosecutors said.
García-Adarme, owner of Sultana Screens & Aluminum
Sales Inc., Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and vice president of
Aluwest Industries Inc., Ponce, Puerto Rico, has been indicted
on smuggling and money laundering charges, according to
documents filed in federal District Court in Puerto Rico.
Edrick García-Vázquez, president of PRP Trading
Corp.; Armando García-Vázquez, vice president of
PRP Trading and chief financial officer of Sultana; Carlos
Minguela-Ortiz, accountant for Sultana and PRP; and William
Tang Pin Wang, owner of AGI Trading Corp., face smuggling,
money laundering and wire fraud charges. Sultana, Aluwest and
PRP Trading also are charged with smuggling, money laundering
and wire fraud.
None of the accused
could be reached for comment.
"These individuals are
charged with defrauding the United States government of tens of
millions of dollars in lawfully imposed duties," U.S. District
Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Veléz, said in a
statement. "We will continue to investigate and prosecute those
who engage in corrupt acts which directly affect fair market
competition in imported goods."
The indictments were
applauded by the Aluminum Extrusion Council (AEC), which has
been active in filing trade cases against imports of Chinese
aluminum extrusions and other products.
"It is extremely
gratifying to see the U.S. Department of Justice take action
against those seeking to illegally bypass the import duties on
Chinese aluminum extrusions," AEC president Rand Baldwin said
in a statement. The AEC has found a "willing ear" at the
Justice Department, and it is "clear that the U.S. government
takes trade actions seriously."
extruders and the United Steelworkers union filed anti-dumping
and countervailing duty petitions with the U.S. Commerce
Department and the International Trade Commission in 2010
asking for relief against what they said were unfairly traded
imports from China (
amm.com, March 31, 2010).