A joint operation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agencies resulted in a $2 million fine levied on Onsted, Michigan based Groeb Farms. Officials alleged that the company smuggled or mislabeled honey from China in order to evade Anti-Dumping Duties imposed on Chinese honey based on past evidence of Chinese producers selling honey for less than market price in the U.S. Rolf Richter, the CEO of Groeb Farms, stated “we take full responsibility for and deeply regret any errors that were made in the past regarding the import of honey.” The company entered a corporate compliance program and dismissed the senior executives responsible for the violations. Customs fraud, especially the evasion of Anti-Dumping or Countervailing Duties, appears to be on the rise. Courts have permitted whistleblowers to report these violations and receive a portion of the proceeds as a reward.
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