Two San Gabriel Valley men plead guilty to automobile export scam

Two San Gabriel Valley men pleaded guilty on Monday to orchestrating an automobile export scam in New Hampshire. Frank Hsiao Chien Ku, 31, of San Gabriel, and Danny Chin Hao Hsu, 33, of West Covina, pleaded guilty on Monday to violating U.S. Customs by purchasing luxury automobiles, falsely titling and registering them in New Hampshire, and then illegally exporting them to China to sell for a profit, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney John Kacavas.

Ku and Hsu operated from Oct. 2009 to March 2012 a San Gabriel-based company that financed the purchase of new automobiles in New Hampshire and elsewhere, according to the press release. The men fabricated leases and utility bills to falsely establish residency in New Hampshire and purchase the automobiles under the pretext that they were not intended for export. Once the defendants or the defendants' agents purchased the vehicles, they had them transported to the port of Long Beach for export to China.

Kacavas said in announcing the charges that the men chose New Hampshire for the state's lack of sales tax and compulsory automobile insurance. "In addition to defrauding the N.H. Division of Motor Vehicles, and diverting valuable federal and state law enforcement resources," Kacavas said, "out-of-state scammers like the defendants pursue a quick buck at the expense of New Hampshire's businesses and citizens."

The men's scheme involved 93 motor vehicles, 14 of which were seized in Long Beach before they were exported. The total value of those 14 vehicles is more than $750,000. 

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