Monday, October 22, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
ATLANTA -- The leaders of a formerly Gwinnett-based paper company are facing federal charges alleging shady, duty-dodging transactions with officials in China and Taiwan.
Jennifer Chen and ex-husband Chi Cheng "Curtis" Gung -- CFO and CEO, respectively, of paper supply company Apego Ltd. -- were federally indicted on charges of conspiracy to import paper products from China with fraudulent invoices to avoid customs duties, as well as 12 counts of fraudulent importation. Officials from the office of United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the company, which has since relocated to Texas, operated out of both Lawrenceville and Lilburn during its illegal operations in 2005 and 2006.
The actions continued through 2007, officials said.
Three "leading Chinese paper manufacturers," a Taiwanese company and their respective CEOs have also been indicted.
According to information released by the U.S. Attorney's office, Apego and two Chinese companies "launched a scheme to avoid anti-dumping duties by transshipping large shipments of paper from China through Taiwan to office supply chains and other large retailers in the United States."
The companies also paid for "Made in Taiwan" stickers to be placed on the Chinese-manufactured goods through bribery at Taiwanese ports, officials said.
The alleged scheme began to unravel in 2007, officials said, when U.S. container security officers based in Taiwan noticed shipments of stationery with "suspicious documentation." The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.
Jennifer Chen, Apego's CFO, was arraigned Monday. Curtis Gung, the CEO, told officials that "he went to Taiwan last week for medical treatment and wished to surrender voluntarily next month."