CHICAGO One of
three companies accused in an alleged duty evasion scheme
involving aluminum from China missed an arraignment hearing in
U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico.
PRP Trading Corp. is
accused of one count each of smuggling, wire fraud and money
laundering but failed to appear at a July 8 hearing, according
to court documents. The hearing was called but not held because
the Arecibo, Puerto Rico-based company "failed to be
represented by counsel," the documents said.
The court has issued
an order requiring PRP Trading to explain why "no one has
appeared on behalf of (PRP Trading) and why no one showed up
for the arraignment," the court documents said, indicating that
the arraignment would be postponed until counsel representing
the company appears in court.
Three companies and
five men have been 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).
The other two
companies, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico-based Sultana Screens &
Aluminum Sales Inc., and its subsidiary, Ponce, Puerto
Rico-based Aluwest Industries Inc., have entered not guilty
amm.com, July 3).
García-Vázquez, president of PRP; Samuel
García-Adarme, owner of Sultana Screens and vice
president of Aluwest; Armando García-Vázquez,
vice president of PRP and chief financial officer of Sultana
Screens; Carlos Minguela-Ortiz, an accountant for both PRP and
Sultana; and William Tang Piu Wong, owner of AGI Trading Corp.
of Wellington, Fla., also have pleaded not guilty (
amm.com, July 5).