First Criminal Indictment Under 2008 Consumer Product Safety Law

Posted: 04/11/2013  browse the blog archive

Five individuals and five corporations were charged in an indictment unsealed last month in Brooklyn, N.Y. , for allegedly importing and trafficking hazardous and counterfeit toys for sale in the United States, in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the Department of Justice announced.

For almost ten years, Chenglan Hu, Hua Fei Zhang, Xiu Lan Zhang, Guan Jun Zhang, and Jun Wu Zhang, along with their companies Family Product USA Inc., H.M. Import USA Corp., ZCY Trading Corp., Zone Import Corp., and ZY Wholesale Inc., allegedly imported and sold toys that contained excessive levels of lead and/or phthalates, easily accessible battery compartments, and other hazards.  They also allegedly imported and sold counterfeit toys featuring Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Disney/Pixar movies such as “Toy Story” and “Cars.”

The case will be tried in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The CPSIA was passed in 2008 to modernize the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and establish more stringent consumer product safety standards and safety requirements, with a particular focus on children’s products.  Under the CPSIA, it is illegal for any person or company to manufacture, sell, distribute, or import into the United States any children’s toy or child care product containing more than .1% of the phthalates DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, or DnOP or lead concentrations greater than 90 ppm in paint and surface coatings.

The Chanler Group, on behalf of citizen enforcers and other whistleblower clients, seeks to uncover toxic chemical exposures and government fraud in our everyday lives, to hold the offenders responsible for such violations of state and federal law, such as the CPSIA, accountable to the public, and to effectuate change for a cleaner environment.