Skip to main content

$3 Million Settlement Reached in Shower Door Transshipment Case

Several news outlets reported that a settlement has been reached in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against companies that allegedly were involved in an effort to evade duties on aluminum extrusions.

The Yuma News reported that “The Department of Justice announced last week that California-based C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., Florida-based Southeastern Aluminum Products Inc. and Texas-based Waterfall Group LLC have agreed to pay $2,300,000, $650,000 and $100,000, respectively, to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act alleging that the companies engaged in schemes to evade customs duties on imports of aluminum extrusions from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”

U.S. Glass quoted C.R. Laurence Co., Inc. president, Lloyd Talbert, “"While we deny engaging in any of the alleged wrongful conduct, we are happy to have reached this settlement agreement so that we can ensure that our resources and focus remain on best serving our customers' needs without further cost or distraction."

As you may recall, Basco Manufacturing Co., agreed to settle for $1.1 million dollars late in 2013.

This brings the total fines paid to $4.1 million.  In addition to the heavy fines, the results speak to importers vulnerability to such lawsuits when importing products.  Even if an importer believes product is not coming from the PRC and subject to duties, if it is, they could be pulled into a potentially embarrassing and expensive lawsuit.  It also demonstrates the power of the False Claims Act. As reported here, this program allows companies and employees to come forward as ‘whistleblowers’  in cases such as these.  It also rewards whistleblowers by sharing a portion of the fines collected.  In this case, the Yuma News reported the whistleblower in this case will receive $555,000.

It is important that the aluminum extrusion industry, and their customers, understand that the Department of Justice will investigate, convict, and punish wrongdoers.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chinese Extrusion Transshipments through Vietnam

In recent months there have been a growing number of reports about aluminum extrusions being imported into the United States from Vietnam.  This recent spike comes at a time when the AEC is watching such reports and import data very carefully.  Given the current policies of the Government of China to export their way out of their self-created overcapacity problems, the AEC is becoming more concerned about the prospect of transshipments from Chinese extruders through Vietnam.

AEC members are asked to contact Jeff Henderson with any reports gathered from the field regarding Vietnamese extrusions coming into the U.S.  All reports will be treated in strict confidence.  It must be determined whether or not there is a pattern in what is being imported.  This pattern could appear in end use markets being targeted, names of the companies exporting product from Vietnam, types of extrusions and finishing, etc.

So, please let Jeff know what you are seeing in the field.  He can be reached at 847.…

Gathering Storm for the Chinese Aluminum Extrusion Industry

As reported last month, the U.S. aluminum extrusion industry is awaiting the International Trade Commission’s decision on whether to hold a full or expedited review of our five-year-long trade case against the People’s Republic of China (PRC).In the meantime, aluminum interests across the free world are developing plans and actions to confront the impending request from China to be granted market economy status (MES) by the World Trade Organization (WTO).Within that debate are issues particularly alarming to aluminum extruders across the globe.

Related: Granting China Market Economy Status will make the whole world less of a market economy
Global trade data continues to confirm that the Chinese continue to push their over-production into their export businesses, which are flooding the world with unwanted aluminum.One semi-fabricated form in which we see this aluminum is extrusion.From warehouses in Southern California to the deserts of Mexico, billions of pounds of aluminum extrusions …

Special Report: Details Behind the China Zhongwang Case Filing

As noted in our post from October 23, the Aluminum Extruders Council filed a Circumvention and Scope Clarification case against China Zhongwang (ZW).  Mounting evidence from private investigators, testimony from former employees, data from online import and export databases, and anecdotal evidence from a variety of reporters and other sources made it quite clear that ZW has consistently and systematically been exporting aluminum extrusions that are simply welded together into what are essentially aluminum slabs.  While they claim these so-called ‘deep-processed’ extrusions are aluminum pallets, there is no evidence that ZW or any of its U.S. based operations market such a product.  It is simply incomprehensible that a company would export hundreds of millions of pounds of these extrusions into the U.S. without even marketing them.

The feedback we’ve received so far indicate that ZW intends to do with these extrusions what they have done in Mexico and Vietnam with similar schemes: sen…