Dozens of U.S. Attorneys Investigating Illegal Auto Exports to China: Officials

By Brian Orsak

Prosecutors in dozens of federal districts are investigating individuals suspected of illegally shipping luxury cars from the United States to China, two U.S. officials said Monday. Because U.S. model luxury cars sell for higher prices in China, fraudsters have set up bogus leasing companies to buy the vehicles from American dealers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Weitz told attendees of a financial crimes conference. The individuals have then quickly shipped the cars to China, violating export rules and dodging owed taxes on the sales, he said. The investigations arose after U.S. Secret Service agents alerted prosecutors to the crimes, said Weitz,...