PHILADELPHIA – ECL Solutions Limited, Inc., doing business as Ban-Air Storage Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of a privately-held British company (“ECL”), pleaded guilty today to conspiring to smuggle goods into the United States, in connection with a scheme to conceal the country of origin of its merchandise. U.S District Court Judge C. Darnell Jones II immediately ordered the company to pay a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $1,066,132.10.
ECL sold, among other things, large scale steel racking systems. According to court documents, between November 2011 and September 2013, ECL intentionally failed to accurately mark its merchandise “Made in China,” in an effort to deceive the end-users, including the United States military, as to where these products were manufactured. In order to maximize its profit and gain a commercial advantage, ECL deceived the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the United States Military, and private customers when it failed to mark its racking components “Made in China.” The conspiracy enabled ECL to pass off its shelving product as compliant with the Buy American Act (BAA) and Trade Agreements Act (TAA) when, in fact, it was using prohibited Chinese steel.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Josh A. Davison.