President of Company That Illegally Imported Catfish Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Federal Prison : RushPRNews - Newswire & Global Press Release Distribution

 
Bookmark and Share

President of Company That Illegally Imported Catfish Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Federal Prison

May 27, 2009

WASHINGTON (RPRN) 5/27/2009—A Virginia man has been sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy that led to more than 10 million pounds of frozen catfish being imported from Vietnam, but fraudulently labeled and sold in the United States as sole, grouper and other species, the Justice Department announced. This sentence is one of the longest imposed by a federal judge for falsely labeling seafood. 

Peter Xuong Lam of Fairfax, Va., who was the president of Virginia Star Seafood Corp., was sentenced late yesterday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez for the Central District of California. In addition to the prison term, Judge Gutierrez ordered Lam to forfeit more than $12 million to the government for anti-dumping duties avoided.

A second man involved in the scheme, Arthur Yavelberg of Reston, Va., who was the president of Silver Seas, a Virginia-based fish importer, was also sentenced yesterday for his role in the conspiracy to import mislabeled fish to avoid federal tariffs. Judge Gutierrez sentenced Yavelberg to a one year period of probation.

The cases against Lam and Yavelberg are part of an ongoing prosecution of importers and seafood dealers who worked together to import catfish from Vietnam and sell frozen fillets that were falsely labeled as more desirable and more expensive fish.

Following a three-week trial, Lam was convicted last October of conspiring to import mislabeled fish in order to avoid federal import tariffs and three counts of dealing in fish that he knew had been imported contrary to law. At the same trial, Yavelberg was convicted of a misdemeanor conspiracy count.

Virginia Star and International Sea Products imported $15.5 million worth of catfish that was illegally labeled and imported as sole, grouper, flounder, snakehead, channa and conger pike (a type of eel). DNA tests revealed that the frozen fish was in fact Pangasius hypophthalmus, a fish in the catfish family marketed under approved trade names including swai or striped pangasius. An anti-dumping duty was placed on Pangasius hypophthalmus imports from Vietnam in January 2003 after a petition was filed by domestic catfish farmers, who alleged that this fish was being imported from Vietnam at less than fair market value. None of the species names used to label the imported fish are subject to any federal tariffs.

To date, a dozen individuals and companies have been convicted of criminal charges related to the scheme to avoid paying tariffs by falsely labeling fish for import and then selling it in the United States at below-market price. The organizer of the smuggling conspiracy, Henry Nguyen, remains a fugitive and is believed to be residing in Vietnam.

Major sentences for those involved include:

  • David Wong: one year and a day in prison followed by one year of supervised release and a fine of $25,000.

  • Tai Wai David Chu: two years probation to include six months of home detention and a fine of $3,000.

  • Henry C.D. Yip: one year probation and a fine of $40,000.

  • Dakon International: two years probation with a special condition of placing a public service advertisement and a fine of $100,000.

  • True World Foods Inc.: forfeiture of $197,930 and a fine of $60,000.

  • T.P. Company: one year probation with a special condition of placing a public service advertisement and a fine of $150,000.


The case was investigated by Special Agents of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fisheries, Office of Law Enforcement; Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Senior Trial Attorney Elinor Colbourn and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Johns, Chief of Environmental Crimes in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, prosecuted the case.

 ENRD
                (202) 514-2007         
TDD                 (202) 514-1888         

About the author:

RushPR News is a social media newswire service created to help you with content creation and distribution to news outlets and social media networks. RushPRnews can also assist you with your web strategies with experts advices and strategies at an affordable cost. Write us at news@rushprnews.com

Click here to see all news from this author/company

Filed Under: CONSUMER GOODS, Lifestyle, BREAKING NEWS, FDA- Pharmaceutical news, COURT NEWS, Article-byline, Food-Nutrition

RUSH PR NEWS newswire and press release services at rushprnews.com / Anne Howard annehowardpublicist.com

Content- Legal Responsibility - All material is copyrighted - You may repost but you MUST link back to the original post on your page and acknowledge Rush PR News as the news source. Rush PR News is not legally and/or morally responsible for content of press releases, opinions expressed or fact-checking.

Rush PR News cannot be held legally responsible for material published and distributed through its newswire service or published in its press-room and therefore cannot be sued for published material. Third-party must be contacted directly to dispute content.

Rush PR News is not the contact for material published.

RSSFeed PRESS & SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASES

Coalition Joins National Coalition for Infant Health

Washington, D.C. 06/25/15 · Newborn Foundation News: Newborn Health leaders convene in DC...

RushPRnews now offers digital news sites +Targeted News outlet Broadcast

SAN FRANCISCO/MONTREAL 06/22/15 · Your press release to be featured on at...

Save our Skies Santa Cruz Launches Petition Urging FAA to Stop the Jet Noise

Santa Cruz, California 06/21/15 · Outraged Citizens fight FAA's NextGenprogram to reclaim quality...

Ultraseal International makes casting impregnation even easier with fully automated two-stage process

Dusseldorf, Germany 06/17/15 · Ultraseal International is living up to its global...

Army Officials and Ameresco Join to Commemorate Completion of Energy Efficiency and Solar Project

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & ADELPHI, Md. 06/16/15 · Army Officials and Ameresco Join to Commemorate Completion...

Ultraseal International celebrates second exporting award this year

Birmingham, West Midlands, UK 06/16/15 · Ultraseal International is celebrating a double success after...

The American radio host, Ed Tyll issues death threat, alleges a French-Canadian publisher

Montreal, Quebec, Canada 06/15/15 · On June 5, the controversial radio host, Edward...

Planwise: Best Mortgage Calculator Since 1993

San Francisco, CA 06/09/15 · Planwise Launches Pinterest Style Mortgage Calculator  Planwise launches PlanwiseConnect,...

Israel’s Start Tel Aviv offers global opportunity for Canadian tech startups

Ottawa,Canada 06/09/15 · Israel’s Start Tel Aviv offers global opportunity for...

Demand for Independence of Punjab Echoes in San Francisco

San Francisco 06/08/15 ·  Thousands of North American Sikhs converged in downtown...

World Renowned Casting Director Appointed to Eagle Arts Academy Board of Directors

Los Angeles, CA 06/06/15 · Eagle Arts Academy is pleased to announce that...

MultiClonal Therapeutics Researchers Report Today Breakthrough in Cloning Human “Ground State” Stem Cells

Farmington,CT 06/05/15 · An international consortium including investigators at MultiClonal Therapeutics,...

Time to increase your public relations impact

SAN FRANCISCO 06/04/15 ·                 Your « SPRING2015-2 » Coupon is here! And with it...

Financial Fraud Lengthy Prison Term for Advance Fee Fraudster

Washington, DC 06/02/15 · Like many successful con men, William C. Lange...