Chinese National and Company Indicted for Fraud to Avoid U.S. Customs Duties on Imported Aluminum

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Sunday, August 4, 2019
Bruce Zagaris

On July 31, 2019, the U.S. Attorney for Los Angeles unsealed a federal grand jury indictment[1], alleging a complex financial fraud scheme in which a Chinese company exported large amounts of aluminum disguised as “pallets” to the United States to avoid customs duties of up to 400 percent and “sold” the purported pallets to related entities to fraudulently inflate the company’s revenues and deceive investors worldwide.[2] According to the indictment, which was returned on May 7, 2019, China Zhongwang Holdings Limited, Asia’s largest aluminum extrusion company; Zhongtian Liu, the company’s former president and chairman; and several individual and corporate co-defendants lied to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to avoid paying the United States $1.8 billion in anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD), that were imposed in 2011 on certain types of extruded aluminum imported into the United States and China.