NEW ORLEANS TRADING COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO VIOLATING U. S. EXPORT LAWS
American Overseas Trading Corporation (“AOTC”), a New Orleans based import/export company, pleaded guilty today in federal court before the Honorable Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. to one count of smuggling goods from the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the court documents, AOTC violated U. S. export laws by falsely stating in various export documents that the hearing aids they were exporting to their customers in Latin America were made in the United States, when in truth and fact, they were made in Germany. By falsely classifying the German made hearing aids as products of the United States, AOTC helped their customers avoid paying import duties in their respective countries under the North American Freed Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), which eliminated import tariffs on U. S. products in Mexico and parts of Latin America.
If convicted, AOTC faces a maximum fine of $500,000.
Sentencing for AOTC has been scheduled for October 5, 2011.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Spiro Latsis.
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