Guilty Plea in Case Involving Illegal Importation of Chinese Cigarettes
On Monday, January 30, 2017, Zhi Xiong Chen, 56, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to importing cigarettes without a federal permit. Chen admitted that he attempted to evade paying more than $467,000 in federal and state excise taxes on the cigarettes that he imported illegally.
Chen faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Criminal Investigations, and IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Valerie L. Makarewicz of the Tax Division and Trial Attorney Christopher S. Strauss of the Justice Department's Tax Division are prosecuting the case.
You can view the press release from the United States Attorney for the Central District of California here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/guilty-plea-case-involving-illegal-importation-chinese-cigarettes