CBWI December 1996 Big Bust At Consumer Electronic Show
I don’t have many details yet but there was a major bust of manufacturers and distributors of export equipment. The owner of RCI and the owner of CTE international along with some distributors were rounded up on charges of fraudulent customs records. This seems to be a continuation of an investigation that’s been going on for about a year or more. Last year one of the major CB distributors was busted, their illegal inventory was confiscated, the owner was thrown in jail and a Grand Jury was called. It was rumored then the owner was going to jail time, but now the rumor is that he will have to pay a hefty fine in the order of 1 million. Both the owners of RCI and CTE are still in jail. They are being held without bail because they aren’t US citizens and as the story goes, the government is afraid they will flee the country. The others are being held on $250,000.00 bail each.
My gut feeling is that this isn’t the end of this. I know of one manufacturer that was about to bring a new product into the country. This news has halted that deal and fast! It’s equipment that comes into the country that’s illegal in the box, e.g., non FCC approved CB radios and linear amplifiers. If they’re found guilty there will be big fines and jail time at stake here. This could impact our hobby immensely. A source told me that this has the potential of putting RCI out of business in the US. I’ll keep you informed as the news comes in.