The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a news release stating that a Louisiana company specializing in the export of agricultural products and its principal officers plead guilty
in federal court
to counterfeiting and using phytosanitary certificates. The company president and vice president were sentenced to five years probation and fines of
$250,000 each. The company was assessed a criminal fine of $500,000. The company created and then submitted to government officials falsified APHIS certificates indicating that their products, such as dry beans and popcorn,
had been inspected according to appropriate procedures and were free of quarantine pests or diseases of concern to the importing country. In
addition to the fine, the company and the two individuals were required to pay $120,000 for the cost of the investigation, $58,000 in restitution, and $69,500 in fees.
Source: HK Law