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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News
February 3, 2017
IN THIS ISSUE
Greetings! This week's top news includes a guilty plea related to illegal importation of cigarettes, and the realignment of our Market Compliance Office into our Trade Investigations Division along with the selection of a new alcohol advertising and trade practices program manager.
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ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER
The TTB Newsletter compiles the top TTB news of the week and other helpful information about the Bureau and the federal alcohol and tobacco laws and regulations we enforce.
Please send any questions or comments to the Executive Liaison for Industry and State Matters at Industry-StateLiaison@ttb.gov/.
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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
MARKET COMPLIANCE OFFICE REALIGNED UNDER TRADE INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION
TTB's Market Compliance Office (MCO) has moved from the Advertising, Labeling, and Formulation Division to the Trade Investigations Division. With this move, all of our marketplace monitoring and enforcement functions are under one division. Under the Trade Investigations Division, the Market Compliance Office will:
LISA GESSER SELECTED AS THE MARKET COMPLIANCE OFFICE'S ADVERTISING AND TRADE PRACTICES PROGRAM MANAGER
As part of its new role in overseeing the trade practice enforcement program, the Market Compliance Office is pleased to announce that Lisa M. Gesser has been selected as the Program Manager for Advertising and Trade Practices. Lisa comes to the Market Compliance Office from TTB's Regulations and Rulings Division with 9 years as a Program Manager for the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, and over 17 years of specialized experience with the advertising and trade practice regulations.
Industry members who have questions concerning compliance with TTB's trade practice regulations may contact Lisa by e-mail at TradePractices@ttb.gov/.