Release date: May 22, 2002
Release number: 02-168

Release Details

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that a lawsuit has been filed against four Los Angeles-area businesses and six individuals, for importing dangerous toys that violate federal safety laws. CPSC and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief against the following firms and their presidents or owners: Lucky Toys Inc. (Julia Ko and Steve Thai), Union Import Inc. (Simon Ko), Rita Chin (owner of the now-defunct Kool Imports Inc.), 333 Imports Inc. (Harry Chin), and Seven Stars Toys Imports Inc. (Ivan Ko). All of these individuals are related as siblings or in-laws.

The complaint alleges that since 1997, these firms imported 47 separate types of toys (totaling over 350,000 units) which had small parts in violation of CPSC regulations. To protect children under three years of age from choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazards, federal law prohibits toys from having small parts. Examples of the violative toys include baby dolls, frogs, phones, cars, airplanes, and bath sets.

CPSC informed the companies and their owners/presidents on numerous occasions that their imports were illegal and dangerous; yet, the complaint alleges that the firms and their owners/presidents knowingly committed further violations. Through the inspection and detective work of CPSC and the U.S. Customs Service, most of these toys were seized at the Port of Long Beach before they could reach store shelves.

"Thanks to the hard work and dedication of CPSC investigators and Customs agents, no child was injured by these dangerous toys," said CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore. "This case shows that CPSC, Customs, and the Justice Department are committed to working together to prosecute those who endanger the safety of children."

In addition to the current charges, Steve Thai was sentenced on April 9, 2002, to three years probation and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for importing children's toys that violated federal law. Thai, who formerly owned the now defunct Super Rambo Inc., is the first individual sentenced for a criminal conviction related to CPSC's mandatory children's toy standards.

VIOLATIVE TOYS

 
Lucky Toys
Product
Violation
Quantity
Toy penguin
small parts
4,320
Toy bus
small parts
65,016
Train setsmall parts
12,528
Musical dollsmall parts
7,200
Musical dollsmall parts
46,440
Toy airplanesmall parts
7,680
Toy carsmall parts
32,640
Toy carsmall parts
960
Toy carsmall parts
1,440
Toy police carsmall parts
2,160
Toy trucksmall parts
720
Dog play setsmall parts/balls

1,728



Union Import

Product
Violation
Quantity
Toy car
small parts
17,280
Toy phone
small parts
11,040
Baby dollsmall parts
1,920
Toy frogsmall parts
2,880
Musical frogsmall parts
1,440
Toy hammersmall parts
8,640
Toy hammersmall parts
12,672
Musical dollsmall parts
7,680
Wind-up dollsmall parts
10,080
Toy bussmall parts

1,680

Toy carsmall parts
900
Toy phonesmall parts
23,232


Kool Imports

Product
Violation
Quantity
Toy car
small parts
2,400
Toy phone
small parts
2,400
Toy phonesmall parts
2,400
Musical dolphinsmall parts
2,400
Toy ducksmall parts
4,800
Toy carsmall parts
1,296
Animal toysmall parts
4,500
Toy elephantsmall parts
900
Doll setsmall parts
2,400
Toy carsmall parts

3,600

Toy wormsmall parts
3,600
Toy phonesmall parts
2,400
Toy phonesmall parts
1,800
Musical phonesmall parts
3,600
Toy musical bussmall parts
4,800
Toy bath setsmall parts

2,400



333 Imports

Product
Violation
Quantity
Tambourine play set
small parts
250
Toy seal
small parts
3,600


Seven Stars Toys

Product
Violation
Quantity
Toy phone
small parts
7,200
Toy airplane
small parts
2,880
Toy phonesmall parts
7,200
Toy tractorsmall parts
630
Toy horsesmall parts
7,200