Randolph County Business, Management Members Indicted
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A Randolph County business, the company’s current president, and the company’s former president have been indicted for conspiring to import merchandise by means of fraudulent invoices and conspiring to commit international money laundering, announced Ripley Rand, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Branco Enterprises, Inc., a North Carolina-incorporated business, located in Asheboro, N.C., as well as Chad Franklin Branson and Larry Wayne McKenzie, both of Randolph County, are alleged to have conspired and agreed to defraud the United States by filing false entry documents with United States Customs. The alleged false documents were associated with the importation of foreign-manufactured clothing in an alleged attempt to underpay import duties. The Indictment charges further that the defendants promoted this fraudulent underpayment of import duties by wiring money to Chinese clothing manufacturers. Branson and McKenzie face up to 25 years in federal prison and $750,000 in fines if convicted of both counts. The company faces fines up to $1 million if convicted of both counts.
The case is being investigated by the United States Department of Homeland Security (including Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations), and the Internal Revenue Service.
An Indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.