Whistleblower Wins Big in Basco Import Scandal, Goldberg Kohn Comments

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The man who blew the whistle on fraudulent trade scheme will receive a chunk of the $1.1 million settlement—and potentially much more.

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Import taxes exist to protect local US businesses.

One of five companies implicated in an international trade scandal decided to settle last month. Attorney Mathew Organ says the whistleblower who brought the case to light will be rewarded with part of the $1.1 million settlement.

Basco Manufacturing Company is accused of fleecing the US Government by dodging import duties on Chinese aluminum products, according to the US Department of Justice (11.14.2013). Basco and other distributors supposedly routed their shipments through Malaysia to conceal the country of origin, allowing them to avoid antidumping and countervailing fees.

The shipments were fraudulently repackaged and their People's Republic of China origins not disclosed to US Customs officials, the DOJ said. The case was brought forward under the Fair Claims Act, which protects the government from fraud.

“Import taxes exist to protect local US businesses,” said Organ, a principal at whistleblower law firm Goldberg Kohn. “If products are imported at artificially low prices then US companies can't compete.”

Antidumping measures prevent “dumping” products at below-cost prices, and countervailing duties are fees to offset manufacturing subsidies from foreign governments. Chinese imports have been sanctioned with such fees since 2010.

Organ said the False Claims Act offers whistleblowers a sizable reward for reporting fraud.

“One man stood up to this company and cracked this case open,” Organ said. “His total reward has not yet been released but it's likely to be at least $150,000.”

Organ said the reward will go up as the other parties named in the suit settle or pay fines. The whistleblower stands to receive between 15% and 30% of all recovered monies.

About Matthew Organ:
Matthew K. Organ is principal in the Litigation group with the Attorneys of Goldberg Kohn, serving clients nationwide. He has extensive experience in whistle blower cases under both state and federal laws. He can be contacted at:

The Attorneys of Goldberg Kohn
55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792

Case Citation: United States ex rel. Valenti v. Tai Shan Golden Gain Aluminum Products Ltd., et al., Case No. 11-cv-368 (M.D. Fla.).

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Amy Jean