The Customs Brokers & International Freight Forwarders Association of Virginia, Inc. invites you to attend its monthly meeting and luncheon.

Evelyn Suarez will give a presentation entitled, “After the Broken Broker: Protecting the Honest Broker Presented by the Customs Brokers & International Freight Forwarders Association of Virginia, Inc.”

On July 1, 2013, the former president of the San Diego Brokers Association was sentenced to 37 months in prison for evading duties on $100 million of goods, including Chinese-made textiles, cigarettes from India and adulterated Mexican food products, as well as produce infected with /salmonella agona.

His conviction was the result of a year-long case against eight individuals and three corporations. According to the Government, Chavez played a crucial rule in the scheme which illegally diverted bonded merchandise into the commerce of the United States. The Government said Chavez advised others on how best to deceive the Government, including volunteering to destroy evidence. Notably, one of the Government’s charges involved the Sarbanes-Oxley’s obstruction statute which carried a much greater maximum sentence than the traditional customs fraud statutes. They also said that Chavez’s co-conspirators used Chavez’s license, expertise and logistical support.

Upon news of the allegations, the NCBFAA immediately responded that this did not represent the integrity of the customs brokerage industry. Schemes such as the San Diego Customs conspiracy case cause reputational damage to the industry and raise concerns about the necessary due diligence to avoid involvement with unscrupulous individuals like Chavez.

Evelyn Suarez, an experience international trade and customs lawyer, will discuss what can be learned from the case. Evelyn has worked with global companies involved in importing, exporting, transportation, logistics and customs brokerage and has handled high profile investigations. She worked in both legal offices of Customs and handled various trade and customs matters at Customs, including broker compliance.