San Gabriel Valley residents indicted in multi-million dollar blue jean smuggling ring

An Alhambra woman was one of nine San Gabriel residents indicted on federal charges related to smuggling blue jeans from China.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported Tuesday that nine San Gabriel Valley residents "face federal charges, including smuggling, money laundering and wire fraud violations, for illegally importing nearly 200 shipments of Chinese-made apparel into the United States to avoid millions of dollars in import duties." Authorities estimate that government losses are more than $2 million.

Rebecca Ho, a 39-year-old Alhambra resident, allegedly brokered the illegal shipments of blue jeans from China. The blue jeans were allegedly smuggled by way of a Foreign Trade Zone in Industry. Several schemes were allegedly employed in order to lower the percentage of duties paid on the jeans.

More from the ICE press release:

All of the defendants were originally charged by criminal complaint and seven of them…made their initial appearances in federal court earlier this month. Those defendants are currently free on bond pending further court proceedings. At this time, [Jianying "Jonathan"] Huang and [Yuling] Wang remain at large and are still being sought.

In addition to the smuggling, money laundering and wire fraud violations, the indictment also charges the defendants with conspiracy; entry of goods by means of false statements; relanding of goods; making false statements; and aiding and abetting. The penalties for those violations range from a maximum term of two years in prison for the counts involving the entry of goods by false statements to up to 20 years in prison for each of the smuggling allegations.

3 thoughts on “San Gabriel Valley residents indicted in multi-million dollar blue jean smuggling ring”

  1. Brett, Don’t confuse Osh advertising that they will pay your sales tax on certain 3 day weekends, with Asian businesses not reporting income on cash only transactions. I think you might be a bit naive. 🙂

    BTW Brett, I no longer visit laundry’s or other businesses in this area that do not offer a receipt with sales tax shown on it. I would rather spend a few minutes driving where I know the business is reporting the tax owed. Aside from knowing, or at least feeling that the business is on the up and up, I get money back for using my credit card for the purchase. If a business takes cash only in this area, I shop elsewhere.

    With the financial straits this state is in, caused only by the legislature in Sacramento with their spend, spend, spend mentality. Although I concede reluctantly every penny in tax I give to the state, the state needs the money until the people say enough, not a penny more.

  2. Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) frequently offers “no sales tax” days. Scandalous!

    😉

    Mr. Martinez, I’m not sure about the point you’re trying to make with your posted comment. Of course, the jeans are illegal as they were smuggled into the country without proper import duty payments.

    But as for the no-sales-tax offers you’ve been so lucky to encounter, there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Just because a business does not require a customer to pay sales tax does not necessarily mean that business isn’t going to report that sale to the government.

    When a shop doesn’t charge the sales tax, it simply means the customer gets a discount, and that discount — like your typical “save 20% now” or “buy one get one free” discounts — is legal.

    But if a shop under-reports its sales numbers to the government during tax time, that’s a different story.

    It should be noted that one does not equal the other. (Otherwise, OSH would have been taken down a long time ago!)

    For shop owners, regardless of ethnicity, it makes business sense to offer incentives to customers to buy. For example, who hasn’t been persuaded to buy when something is marked down in price?

    Also, businesses have to pay credit card companies a percentage of every transaction made with a credit card. So of course businesses would rather you paid with cash than credit card.

    Preferring cash to credit card just makes financial sense, especially for mom-and-pop shops competing with big corporate-backed competitors who have the deep pockets to pay all those credit card charges as they grab market share and try to put mom-and-pop competitors out of business.

    By offering you no-sales-tax discounts, the Asian vendors you speak of (and OSH) are simply competing in the market place. It’s just part of American capitalism.

    I wish I had your luck when shopping!

  3. If the jeans were distributed to an Asian vender there would also be no sales tax paid. I personally seen it a hundred times shopping in Alhambra. When you get out your check book or credit card to pay for a transaction, they say if you pay cash, no tax.

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