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Honey TransshippingIn re Honey Transshipping Litigation
13-cv-02905 (N.D. Ill.) March 2014
Hausfeld LLP has been appointed co-lead counsel in a nationwide class action in the Northern District of Illinois filed on behalf of a class of domkestic beekeepers and honey packers. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Ernie Groeb, Troy Groeb, Horizon Partners, LTD, Marquette Capital Partners, Honey Solutions, China Industrial Manufacturing Group, Sunland Trading, and others violated the Lanham Act and Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") by engaging in an international scheme to purchase, package, ship, and sell illegally imported and fraudulently labeled honey from China in order to avoid paying U.S. antidumping duties.
The Consolidated Complaint follows the nearly five-year "Honeygate" investigation led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which uncovered a massive conspiracy whereby participants transshipped Chinese honey through other countries, fraudulently disguised the honey's Chinese origin, and then illegally imported that honey into the United States in order to avoid paying U.S. antidumping duties.
The Honeygate investigation involved a series of seizures of illegally imported honey, criminal charges, and massive fines, including criminal charges against two of the country's largest industrial honey packers -- Groeb Farms, Inc. and Honey Solutions. Earlier this year, both entities entered into Deferred Prosecution Agreements with the government and admitted to knowingly facilitating the importation, purchase and sale of mislabeled Chinese-origin honey in avoidance of U.S.-imposed antidumping duties.
Plaintiffs allege that Groeb Farms, Honey Solutions, and their suppliers and importers knowingly and intentionally purchased, packaged, distributed, and sold falsely labeled honey.
Practice Areas: Deceptive Business Practices and Consumer Protection