On October 25, 2018, Timothy Stanfield was charged by information in U.S. District Court, Columbus, Ohio, for intentionally understating the value of lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries he imported from China to avoid paying the proper import duty/tax on them. He also was charged with violating safety regulations by improperly labeling, mailing, and shipping the batteries.
Stanfield owns Ready Made RC, an Ohio-based company that sells radio-controlled model aircraft, drones, and related parts and supplies. Between October 2012 and January 2015, he allegedly placed multiple orders valued at $778,395.60 with a Chinese company, Kypom Technology Stock Co, LTD. In January 2015, Customs and Border Protection agents inspected one of the shipments—186 boxes containing 4,007 individual batteries. The declared value was $19,827, which was significantly less than the actual invoiced value of the batteries. The batteries were also not properly packaged or labeled for air cargo shipment. DOT hazardous material safety regulations control the shipment of LiPo batteries because of their chemical contents and volatility.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with Homeland Security Investigations, IRS-CID, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.