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Press Release

Chain Saw Chain and Blade Importer to Pay Over $500,000 to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

TriLink Saw Chain, LLC, and TriLink Global, LLC (TriLink), nationwide importers of chain saw chains and blades manufactured in China and intended for sale in the United States, have agreed to pay $525,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by misclassifying their imported chain saw chains and blades to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP).

The government specifically alleged that from September 24, 2018, though June 10, 2019, TriLink classified imported chain saw chains and blades under inappropriate subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. The government further alleged that TriLink’s false classification of the imported chain saw chains and blades during that time period resulted in nonpayment of applicable tariffs due and owing to the United States pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.

“False classification of imported goods deprives the United States of tariffs that are due and owing under the law and results in unfair competition against law-abiding companies,” said Timothy Duax, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. “We will continue to work with our federal partners to hold importers accountable to ensure that they do not avoid payment to the United States.”

LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, the Chicago Director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated, “This is a prime example of the vigilance of our CBP employees, and our use of a whole of government approach. Entities that attempt to defraud the U.S. Government, the American people, and our economy will not succeed.”   

This civil matter arose from an action brought under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Pursuant to that Act and the settlement agreement, the whistleblower will share in the United States’ financial recovery.

The claims asserted against TriLink are allegations only; there was no determination or admission of liability.

The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew K. Gillespie and Jacob A. Schunk and was investigated in coordination with USCBP.

Court file information at

The case file number is 20-CV-58-LTS-KEM.

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Updated March 17, 2022

False Claims Act