U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced in a press release this past week that Los Angeles-based businessman Sunil Jiwat Mirwani was sentenced to 27 months in prison for evading customs duties on more than $30 million in Chinese-made wearing apparel.
According to the evidence presented at a trial in June 2012, Mirwani hired a group of San Diego-based businessmen and logistics professionals to initiate shipments of Chinese-made merchandise from ports in China to the Port of Long Beach, Calif. When the goods arrived at Long Beach, Mirwani and his conspirators would ensure that the merchandise was classified as "in bond"-a special customs classification meaning that they had to be shipped directly to Mexico. However, rather than complete the shipment to Mexico as promised, Mirwani and his conspirators forged documents and falsified database entries, allowing them to send the merchandise to warehouses in the Los Angeles area.
Mirwani would then sell his jeans, shorts and skirts throughout the United States--effectively tax-free. In this way, Mirwani could sell more jeans at cheaper prices than his law-abiding competitors-including domestic American manufacturers of similar goods who, unlike Mirwani, could not rely on cheap Chinese labor to keep costs low.
U.S. District Judge Michael M. Anello sentenced Mirwani's corporation, M Trade, Inc., to five years of probation.
Printed from David Trumbull