A Chinese national selling plastic bags, restaurant supplies and other merchandise from China out of a warehouse in Baltimore was sentenced to 16 months in prison Wednesday for dodging customs duties on the imported products, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.
Jin Qing Huang, 57, was president of Woncity Inc., which kept a warehouse in the 2800 block of Annapolis Road in Baltimore and another in Northeast Washington and imported large quantities of Chinese products. Huang lived in Gaithersburg and had an active business license for Woncity in Maryland until it was recently forfeited, according to business records.
Huang was indicted in March 2011 on charges he deliberately undervalued bulk shipments of plastic bags to avoid antidumping duties, placed on such shipments by the federal government to deter foreign manufacturers and importers from flooding U.S. markets with cheap goods at costs that undercut American producers' ability to compete.
Plastic bags from China are subject to a duty of more than 77 percent.
Prosecutors said Huang imported $82,196 worth of merchandise from China in 2007 and claimed it was worth only $52,494, and imported $30,118 worth of goods in 2008 and claimed it was worth only $10,073, lying on U.S. Customs and Border Protection filings.
Prosecutors said Huang admitted to underpaying duties on those imports.
In addition to his prison term, Huang will also have to serve one year of supervised release, prosecutors said.
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