Specialty furniture retailer Z Gallerie has agreed to pay $15 million following allegations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that the company tried to mislead customs officials in order to import furniture from China at a cheaper price.
The Glendale-based company allegedly violated the False Claims Act by importing bedroom furniture through the Port of Savannah and misclassifying the products as non-bedroom items to avoid paying antidumping duties. These tariffs aim to protect domestic manufacturers against foreign companies dumping products in the United States at cheaper prices. Imports of wooden bedroom furniture manufactured in China have been subject to antidumping duties since 2004.
Z Gallerie, according to the Department of Justice, would sell products such as a three-drawer chest as part of a bedroom collection but label them as grand chests and hall chests on U.S. Customs and Border Protection documents to sidestep the tariffs. The items in question were imported from China between 2007 and 2014.
Z Gallerie was founded in 1979 by siblings Joe Zeiden, Carole Malfatti, and Mike Zeiden. The retailer sells furniture, art, and accessories online and across 55 locations throughout the United States.
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