Volume 48, Issue 8- August 2013
Five Individuals and Three Companies Indicted for Aluminum Smuggling
A federal grand jury indicted five individuals and three companies for allegedly conspiring to smuggle aluminum products into the United States and money laundering, according to Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
The indictment alleges that Samuel García-Adarme, the owner of Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales and vice president of Aluwest Industries; Edrick García –Vázquez, the president of PRP Trading Corp; Armando García-Vázquez, the vice president of PRP Trading and the chief financial officer of Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales; Carlos Minguela-Ortiz, an accountant for Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales and PRP Trading; and William Tang Piu Wong the owner of AGI Trading Corporation, facilitated the importation of Chinese manufactured goods into the United States with intent to defraud the United States of approximately $26.7 million in lawful antidumping and countervailing duties (ADD/CVD).
Also allegedly complicit were Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales, which is located in Mayagüez, with two additional locations in Caguas and Ponce, P.R., for scheming to import aluminum and manufacturing related products for sale; PRP Trading Corp., which is located in Arecibo, P.R., for importing aluminum; and Aluwest Industries, which is located in Ponce, P.R., for manufactured aluminum products.
The indictment further alleges that García-Adarme, Edrick García-Vázquez, Armando García-Vázquez and Carlos Minguela-Ortiz and the owners and/or principals of Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales, PRP Trading, and Aluwest Industries were assisted by William Tang Piu Wong in purchasing aluminum from China and shipping it to Malaysia before repackaging the aluminum and creating false invoices to make it appear as though the aluminum originated in Malaysia. They then imported the aluminum into Puerto Rico to avoid payment of the ADD/CVD.
Since November 2010, the Department of Commerce has imposed ADD/CVD on Chinese-origin aluminum, which ranged from 30 – 33 percent of the declared value of the imported aluminum, and 374.15 percent of the declared value of the imported aluminum, respectively.
The second count of the indictment charges defendants Edrick and Armando García-Vázquez, Minguela Ortiz and Wong and the three companies of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The third count charges all defendants with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The forfeiture allegations include a money judgment of $26,758,437.86 for the unpaid ADD/CVD and a money judgment of $6,907, 985.43 for the money laundering count.
If found guilty, the defendants could face 20 years in prison.