Bellevue man arrested in honey-fraud case
May 7, 2009 · 3:11 PM
Chung Po Liu, 68, of Bellevue, and Boa Zhong Zhang, a citizen of China, were arrested May 6 and charged by criminal complaint with a conspiracy to defraud the United States by submitting false paperwork regarding shipments of honey to the U.S.
The men allegedly conspired to avoid import fees on Chinese honey by claiming the honey was manufactured in Thailand or the Philippines. Zhang is a 30-year employee of a bee products company in China. Liu is the president of two companies involved in honey imports and sales.
In addition to the two arrested on charges from the Western District of Washington, Yong Xiang Yan, the president of the Chinese honey manufacturing company was arrested on a criminal complaint filed in Chicago. That complaint alleges that Yan conspired to import falsely labeled honey into the U.S. for a Chicago based honey distributor. According to the complaint, the honey’s country of origin was falsified, and some Chinese honey has been found to be contaminated with three different antibiotics.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Conspiracy is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.