A furniture business executive who falsified documents to avoid more than $1.4 million in import duties on the Chinese goods he sold was sentenced to a year of home detention Monday.
Jeff Zeng, president of Blue Furniture Solutions, was also sentenced to spend two additional years on supervised release for his role in mislabeling customs forms to make it appear that wooden furniture subject to a 216 percent import tax was instead made of metal. Documents filed with U.S. District Court in Charleston show Zeng and Blue Furniture Solutions, located in Miramar, Fla., submitted 49 falsified customs forms in 2015 for 14,542 pieces of furniture used primarily in college dormitory rooms. Some of that furniture was imported through the Port of Charleston.
A co-conspirator, Alexander Cheng, pleaded guilty last month to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Cheng, the company’s chief financial officer, is awaiting sentencing.
A federal civil fraud case against Zeng and the furniture company winds down in Austin, Texas. In that case, which was spurred by a competitor’s complaint, the U.S. Attorney’s office is seeking payment of nearly $4.7 million in fines and damages from the customs scheme.
Individuals who are aware of specific and detailed information about fraud and evasion of our import tariffs may be able to become whistleblowers under the False Claims Act and be eligible for a reward of up to 30% of what the Government collects. For more information about tariff fraud cases contact attorney Newman at email@example.com or by phone at 617-823-3217.