The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that The Mazel Company, of Solon, Ohio, was sentenced to pay a criminal penalty of $40,000 after pleading guilty to four counts of selling banned children's toys. The toys had been recalled by their New Jersey importer in 1996 because they contained small parts, which posed a choking hazard to young children. However, following the recall, the importer resold the toys to Mazel. Between August 1996 and February 1997, Mazel sold approximately 800 Teddy Precious Collectible Bears to small retail stores throughout the United States.
Toys intended for children under 3 that contain small parts are banned under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio sentenced Mazel immediately after accepting the guilty plea.
CPSC Chairman Ann Brown said, "This case will alert companies that the sale of dangerous children's products is a violation of criminal law. We will aggressively pursue actions like this one to protect the safety of American children."
The Civil Division's Office of Consumer Litigation, in the Department of Justice, handled the prosecution of Mazel and the New Jersey importer, Dan Dee International Inc. In April, Dan Dee also pled guilty and was sentenced to pay a $40,000 criminal fine.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.