Toy Importers Sentenced for Smuggling Hazardous and Lead-Tainted Toys

Posted: 06/10/2013  browse the blog archive

Hung Lam, 55, and Isabella Kit Yeung, 37, both of Miami-Dade County, and Florida corporations LM Import-Export, Inc. (LM), Lam’s Investment Corp. (LIC), and LK Toys Corporation, (LK) were sentenced for violations regarding the smuggling of hazardous children’s products from China, officials announced last month.

According to court documents, Lam, LM, LIC, and LK conspired to sell and distribute in commerce children’s products imported from China in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. These products allegedly presented the risk of choking, aspiration, and ingestion, and some contained lead above the statutory limits imposed by the CPSIA. The defendants made false statements on custom declaration forms in order to import these products.

Hung Lam pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic and smuggle children’s products, including toys, containing banned hazardous substances, such as lead and small parts, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Lam was sentenced to 22 months incarceration, a $10,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment.  

Co-defendant Isabella Kit Yeung pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of submitting a false label country of origin, and was sentenced to one year of probation, a $1,000 fine and $25 special assessment.

LM, LIC, and LK were sentenced to five years of probation and an $800 special assessment. In addition, a forfeiture judgment and order in the amount of $862,500 was imposed against the defendants. The judge also ordered the forfeiture of property imported by defendants and seized by the United States.

The CPSIA was passed in 2008 to 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.