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United States of America v. Timothy Stanfield
Case Number: 2:18-cr-00225-JLG
Judge: Norah McCann
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Franklin County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Michael Marous and Jessica Knight
Defendant's Attorney: Joseph R Durham and Adam S. Nightingale
Columbus, OH - Owner of 'Ready Made RC' Pleads Guilty to Crimes Related to Importation of Batteries from China
The owner of Ready Made RC, a Lewis Center-based company that sells radio-controlled model aircraft and drones as well as parts and supplies for them, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to intentionally understating the value of lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries he imported from China in order to avoid paying the proper import duty/tax on them, and violating safety regulations by improperly labeling, mailing and shipping the batteries.
Timothy Stanfield, 47, of Lewis Center, pleaded guilty to one count of entry of goods by means of false statements, a crime punishable by up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Stanfield also pleaded guilty to one count each of mailing injurious materials, transportation of hazardous materials, and money laundering.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Steve Francis, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, and Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, announced the pleas entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King on Wednesday, November 27.
Court documents say Stanfield placed a total of 13 orders from a Chinese company, Kypom Technology Stock Co, LTD, between October 2012 and January 2015 valued at $778,395.60. Customs and Border Protection agents inspected one of the shipments in January 2015 consisting of 186 boxes containing 4,007 individual batteries. The declared value was $19,827, which is significantly less than the actual invoiced value of the batteries.
Investigators made an undercover purchase of batteries from the company’s website in February 2015. Four batteries, including to LiPo batteries were mailed. Investigators found that the shipment was not properly packaged and contained more batteries than permitted by law. Safety regulations control the shipment of LiPo batteries because of their chemical contents. Investigators also found that the batteries were not properly packaged or labeled for shipment in air cargo.
"Companies who illegally import batteries and other merchandise with the intent to evade U.S. Customs laws will be held accountable,” Said Steve Francis, special agent in charge for HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio. "Simply put, when these U.S. laws are not adhered to, lives are put at risk. HSI and our partners will continue to aggressively target and investigate those who jeopardize consumer safety.”
“The details of this case are egregious. Timothy Stanfield placed a higher value on his profit than the safety of the employees of the air cargo companies,” stated Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to following the money, wherever it leads.”
Stanfield agreed to pay restitution of $22,614.74 to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A sentencing date will be scheduled following a pre-sentence investigation by the court.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the HSI and IRS Criminal Investigation, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. He also commended Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Marous and Jessica Knight, who are representing the United States in the case.
Outcome: Presentence Report Disclosure Notification received as to Timothy Stanfield. Report to be completed by Laura Shannon. Presentence Investigation Report due by 12/13/2018. (ds) (Entered: 12/03/2018)