SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced May 1 that Importer Merchandising Concepts LP (IMC) and two individuals, Glen Michaels and Alan Lewis, will pay $275,000 to resolve allegations the company improperly evaded customs duties on imports of wooden bedroom furniture from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The defendants purportedly evaded anti-dumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture imported from the PRC between 2009 and 2014. According to the department, the defendants used a scheme to wrongly classify the furniture as non-bedroom furniture on import documents. At the time, non-bedroom furniture was not subject to anti-dumping duties, while bedroom furniture was subject to a 216 percent anti-dumping duty. The alleged conduct undertaken by the defendants violates the False Claims Act.
“Those who import and sell foreign-made goods in the United States must comply with the law, including laws intended to protect domestic companies and American workers from unfair foreign competition,” said acting assistant attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “This settlement reflects the Department of Justice’s commitment to pursue those who seek to evade import duties owed on goods manufactured abroad thereby gaining an unfair advantage in U.S. markets.”