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New York Man Sentenced on Tax Charge in Illegal Vehicle Importation Scheme

On March 19, 2012, Gar Loon Lee, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Burlington, Vermont, to thirty months probation, payment of a $25,000 fine, and payment of taxes and penalties in the amount of $13,879 for failing to report the receipt of significant taxable gross income from the illegal importation of four passenger vehicles from Canada to Vermont in 2009. 

Vehicles imported into the U.S. must comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) prior to being offered for sale and must be imported by or through a Registered Importer that is recognized by NHTSA.  Mr. Lee, who was neither a Registered Importer nor worked through a Registered Importer, purchased four Nissan automobiles in Canada and illegally entered Vermont at various ports of entry during 2009 using borrowed New York dealer plates.  Mr. Lee failed to declare the vehicles as imports and did not complete the required importation documents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  None of the four vehicles complied with the FMVSS or emissions standards imposed by EPA regulations. 

This investigation was conducted jointly with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Burlington, Vermont.