After several years of investigations, scope challenges, circumvention cases, and now the criminal case orchestrated by the US Department of Justice, the fake pallet scheme has been exposed and its participants found guilty of avoiding duties to the tune of USD 1.8 billion. News reports have emerged that six companies tied to Chinese billionaire Mr Liu Zhongtian were convicted in the US of disguising aluminum shipments to avoid paying USD 1.8 billion in customs duties and to boost the value of China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. The Justice Department said "Liu orchestrated bogus sales of the aluminum to inflate China Zhongwang's value, the Justice Department said Monday in a release. Since there was no market for pallets, Liu and Zhongwang arranged for aluminum melting facilities to be built and acquired, which were to be used to reconfigure the aluminum into a form with commercial value."The jury found the following two aluminium businesses and four warehousing companies, all of which were related to one another, guilty of one count of conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud and seven counts of passing false and fraudulent papers through a customhouse:Perfectus Aluminium Inc, an Ontario-based business;Perfectus Aluminium Acquisitions LLC, a subsidiary of Perfectus Aluminium formed in 2014 to oversee several companies that received aluminium pallets shipped to the United States after duties were imposed on Chinese aluminium in 2011;Scuderia Development LLC, which owns a warehouse in Riverside;1001 Doubleday LLC, which owns a warehouse in Ontario;Von Karman – Main Street LLC, which owns a warehouse in Irvine;10681 Production Avenue LLC, which owns a warehouse in Fontana.Aluminum Extruders Council President Mr Jeff Henderson said "The Aluminum Extruders Council applauds the Department of Commerce for their work in this matter, Customs and Border Protection for their diligence in uncovering the aluminum, and the Department of Justice for their prosecution in this case. This should be a warning sign to others intending to violate our trade orders. You will be discovered and prosecuted.