Clothing Wholesaler Exec Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Customs Fraud Scheme to Avoid Paying Millions of Dollars in Duties

A clothing wholesale company executive, Mohamed Daoud Ghacham, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison for undervaluing imported garments in a scheme to avoid paying millions of dollars in customs duties. Ghacham’s company, Ghacham Inc., which does business under the “Platini” brand name, imported clothing from China and submitted fraudulent invoices to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that undervalued the shipments, allowing the company to avoid paying the full amounts of tariffs owed on the imports. At Mohamed Ghacham’s direction, Chinese suppliers would prepare two invoices for the clothing ordered by Ghacham Inc. – a true invoice, which reflected the actual price paid for the goods, and a fraudulent “customs invoice,” which reflected an understated price. Ghacham Inc. submitted the customs invoices to CBP and customs brokers to fraudulently reduce the tariffs owed on the imports, while it maintained the true invoices in its accounting records.

From July 2011 to February 2021, Ghacham Inc. and Mohamed Ghacham undervalued imported garments by more than $32 million and failed to pay approximately $6,390,792 in customs duties.

Ghacham was sentenced by United States District Judge Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, who also ordered him to pay $6,390,781 in restitution.

Ghacham pleaded guilty in December 2022 to one count of conspiracy to pass false and fraudulent papers through a customhouse.

Homeland Security Investigations and CBP investigated this matter. The U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and IRS Criminal Investigation provided significant assistance.

Assistant United States Attorney Alexander B. Schwab of the Corporate and Securities Fraud Strike Force prosecuted this case.

Jeffrey Newman is a whistleblower lawyer and his firm represents whistleblowers in healthcare fraud under the False Claims Act (FCA) also whistleblowers under the SEC whistleblower program and CFTC whistleblower program. He can be reached at or at 617-823-3217