companies accused of avoiding duties on aluminum imported from
China have pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Puerto
Rico-based Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales Inc. and its
subsidiary, Ponce, Puerto Rico-based Aluwest Industries Inc.,
have been charged with smuggling, money laundering and wire
fraud, according to court documents filed July 2.
Five men and three
companies, including Sultana and Aluwest, were accused by
federal prosecutors of shipping aluminum extrusions from China
into the United States using false invoices indicating that the
metal came from Malaysia to avoid paying $26.7 million in
anti-dumping and countervailing duties that would have been
imposed on the Chinese material (
amm.com, June 25).
an accountant for Sultana and Arecibo, Puerto Rico-based PRP
Trading Corp., the third accused company, also pleaded not
amm.com, June 26), as did Armando
García-Vázquez, vice president of PRP and chief
financial officer of Sultana, according to court documents.
Also facing charges
are PRP president Edrick García-Vázquez; Samuel
García-Adarme, owner of Sultana and vice president of
Aluwest Industries; and William Tang Piu Wong, owner of AGI
Trading Corp., Wellington, Fla., who was arrested on June 24 in
Wongs case has
been transferred from Florida to U.S. District Court in Puerto
Rico, where he is scheduled to appear at a July 8 hearing,
according to court documents filed in Florida. Arraignment
hearings for PRP, García-Vázquez and
García-Adarme are scheduled for July 8 in Puerto Rico,
according to court documents.