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Bellevue man pleads guilty in honey case

Chung Po Liu, 69, of Bellevue, pleaded guilty last week in connection with the illegal importation of Chinese honey. The plea comes just as 11 individuals and six companies were indicted in Chicago for conspiring to illegally import more than $40 million in Chinese honey. Liu was charged in May 2009, following a federal investigation of honey imports to the U.S.

The Seattle investigation revealed that Liu submitted false paperwork claiming that the honey had been produced in Thailand or the Philippines and thereby avoided high import fees on Chinese honey. One of the shipments included honey tainted with an antibiotic banned in U.S. food.

Liu pleaded guilty August 26 to a felony: the entry of goods by means of false statements. Liu also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor: the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce. Liu is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on November 29.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence for LIU of up to two years in prison.

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