Investigations

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Four Sentenced in Grey Market Vehicle Scheme

Four of six defendants were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Miami, FL, for smuggling more than $1.5 million worth of luxury cars into the U.S. and selling them. The defendants imported the 45 vehicles under the “foreign national exception,” which allows short-term visitors to bring their cars into the country without paying taxes on them. The defendants fraudulently titled and sold the vehicles without paying U.S. Customs duties or bringing them into compliance with DOT safety and EPA environmental standards. The sentences are as follows: Kai Stadler, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 12 months in jail and restitution of $375,000; Individual Automobile Imports, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, $60,000 fine and restitution of $75,000; Thomas Kahnt, Ft. Lauderdale, 8 months in prison and restitution of $165,000; Alpe Eke of Miami, restitution of $90,000. The two remaining defendants will be sentenced in April. The investigation was conducted jointly by OIG, EPA’s Criminal Investigations Division, and the U.S. Coast Guard, with technical assistance from NHTSA.