Ohio Fireworks Importer Sentenced, Fined for Violations
An Ohio fireworks importer was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment and a $5,000 fine for criminal contempt related to violations of the terms of a May 2003 consent decree. Larry Lomaz, president of Midwest Fireworks Manufacturing Inc., of Deerfield, Ohio, was found guilty of nine separate violations.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) played an active role in the investigation of Mr. Lomaz's activities, which also resulted in Lomaz previously paying $30,000 in forfeited profits from sales of illegal fireworks.
U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin found Lomaz's business practices "reckless and unlawful" saying they "increase the likelihood that such illegal or unregulated fireworks will reach the hands of American consumers, including children."
The consent decree had ordered Lomaz to stop buying and selling banned fireworks. It called for Lomaz's future fireworks shipments to be tested by the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory prior to importation to ensure they comply with U.S. law, and stipulated that he inform CPSC of all of his imports of fireworks devices.
In his ruling, Judge Gwin found, among other violations, that Lomaz knowingly imported 547 cartons of fireworks that were not tested in accordance with the terms of the consent decree.
"Consumers can be assured that we will track down and prosecute those who willingly violate the law," said CSPC Chairman Hal Stratton.
The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation prosecuted the case against Lomaz.