Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 18, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 8


Mountain View News Saturday, November 18, 2023 



 LOS ANGELES – A jury has found two corporate executives guilty of federal criminal 
charges related to the distribution and sale of defective residential dehumidifiers 
linked to multiple fires in the first corporate criminal enforcement action ever 
brought under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Justice Department 
announced today.

 Simon Chu, 68, of Chino Hills, and Charley Loh, 65, of Arcadia, were found 
guilty on Thursday afternoon of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States 
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and one count of failure to furnish 
information as required by the CPSA.

 The defective dehumidifiers sold by Chu’s and Loh’s two corporations were 
included in multiple recalls of a larger number of defective dehumidifiers manufactured 
by Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai (Gree Zhuhai) in China. Recall notes 
stated that more than 450 reported fires and millions of dollars in property damage 
have been linked to the recalled Gree Zhuhai dehumidifiers. The most recent recall 
announcements for the Gree Zhuhai dehumidifiers can be found here and here.

 According to evidence presented at a six-day trial, Chu was part owner and 
chief administrative officer of Gree USA Inc. and another corporation in the City of 
Industry, that distributed and sold to retailers for consumer purchase dehumidifiers 
that were made by Gree Zhuhai in China. Loh was part owner and CEO of the same 
two corporations.

 The CPSA requires manufacturers, importers and distributors of consumer 
products to report “immediately” to the CPSC information that reasonably supports 
the conclusion that a product contains a defect that could create a substantial product 
hazard or creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. This duty also applies 
to the individual directors, officers, and agents of those companies.

As early as September 2012, Chu, Loh and their companies received multiple reports 
that their Chinese dehumidifiers were defective, dangerous and could catch 
fire. They also knew that they were required to report this product safety information 
to the CPSC immediately. Despite their knowledge of consumer complaints of 
dehumidifier fires and test results showing defects in the dehumidifiers, Chu and 
Loh failed to disclose their dehumidifiers’ defects and hazards for at least six months 
while they continued to sell their products to retailers, for resale to consumers.

 “It is critical to hold corporate executives accountable for misconduct,” said U.S. 
Attorney Martin Estrada. “The importation and sale of defective consumer products 
can lead to injury and death, and this verdict sends a clear message that putting profits 
over safety will not be tolerated.”

 “Companies and their employees should immediately report known dangerous 
consumer products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission so the products 
can be recalled as soon as possible,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General 
Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Justice 
Department will prosecute companies and their employees when they willfully put 
the public in harm’s way by failing to report known dangerous products.”

 “The safety of the American public is the top priority for HSI, and products like 
these can turn an ordinary purchase into deadly consequences.” said Special Agent 
in Charge Eddy Wang for Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles. “HSI Los 
Angeles will continue to work diligently to ensure our supply chain is safe from products 
that can harm consumers.”

 The jury acquitted both defendants of one count of wire fraud.

 United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer scheduled a March 11, 2024 sentencing 
hearing, at which time Chu and Loh will face a statutory maximum sentence 
of five years in federal prison for each of the conspiracy and the failure to furnish 
information counts.

 Gree USA was sentenced on April 24 to pay a $500,000 criminal fine after pleading 
guilty to failing to notify the CPSC about the problems with the dehumidifiers. 
The fine, along with provisions to pay restitution to victims, was part of a $91 million 
criminal resolution with Gree USA, Gree Zhuhai and another related Gree company, 
Hong Kong Gree Electric Appliances Sales Co. Ltd.

 Homeland Security Investigations investigated this matter.

 Assistant United States Attorney Joseph O. Johns of the Environmental Crimes 
and Consumer Protection Section and Trial Attorneys Speare Hodges, Natalie Sanders 
and Stephen Gripkey of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch are 
prosecuting this case, with the assistance of Patricia Vieira of the CPSC’s Office of 
General Counsel.


Quite a stir last week in Sierra Madre when I excluded Chardonnay for any Thanksgiving Day consideration, 
so I sharpened my pencil and made some edits and surprised myself with a few recommendations 
for Turkey Day.

I meant no disrespect with last week’s column, excluding chardonnay from my Thanksgiving selections 
for top picks. So, here is my make good with three go-to Chardonnays

First, a brief history of Chardonnay. Most good coastal chardonnay comes from a few areas that you 
might be familiar with: Anderson Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Rita Hills, and the coolest section 
of the Russian River Valley. Carneros is also ocean-influenced, though it's warmer there, since it's a 
bit inland. Chardonnays from vineyards on the mountain ridges at the edge of the Sonoma Coast AVA 
are some of the best in the state. Here are three Chardonnays that I found “reliable” and all under $20:

Francis Ford Coppola’s Diamond Collection Chardonnay - awarded Best in Class, it is bright and balanced. 
If you like your wine with a bit of fruity apple/pear flavor, this would be a good choice. This 
Chardonnay hails from the Monterey region.

Dills Score 89

Retail $16; you can find it if you shop around for $13 Vons /Albertson’s

St Francis Chardonnay - Chardonnay from the Santa Rosa Sonoma region. I found this to be crisp and 
delightful, and it goes well with the other white meat, pork.

Dills Score 89

Retail $17; easily available in So Cal for $15 Vons

Our friends in France enjoy a 2018 Jadot Pouilly Fuisse made with 100% Chardonnay grapes. While we 
tend to label California wines as “buttery”, I’d go with “crisp”. Interesting wine maker notes, one part of 
the wine is fermented in stainless steel vats and in oak barrels, this combination delivers a silky smooth 
finish. Pouilly Fuisse is a great representation of old world wine making. $21.99 average price Vons


ALL THINGS By Jeff Brown


Here are some general directions in which vaccine development and technology is heading:

mRNA Vaccines: The success of mRNA vaccines, such as those developed for COVID-19 by Pfizer-BioNTech and 
Moderna, has opened new avenues. mRNA technology allows for the rapid development of vaccines, and researchers 
are exploring its ap-plication for other infectious diseases and even cancer.

Microarray Patches

They are coin-sized patches covered either with tiny needles coated in dry vaccine that painlessly penetrate the skin 
or a formula that dissolves when the patch is pressed onto the skin for 2-5 minutes. These patches don’t require cold 
temperatures, weigh significantly less than vials requiring needles and syringes, don’t require any mixing, and can 
be given by un-trained community health workers in almost any conditions.

Malaria Vaccine-Two vaccines are now showing promise, however: RTS,S and R21/Matrix-M, both of which target 
a specific protein on the malaria parasite.

Nanoparticle Vaccines: Nanoparticle based vaccines were being researched for their potential to elicit a robust immune 
response. These vaccines use tiny particles to mimic the structure of viruses, enhancing their effectiveness.

Universal Vaccines: Efforts are being made to develop universal vaccines that could provide broad protection 
against multiple strains of a virus. This approach is particularly relevant for rapidly evolving viruses like influenza.

Nasal Vaccines: Nasal vaccines, like the nasal spray version of the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, are being explored 
for their potential to induce mucosal immunity and provide a more convenient method of administration.

Therapeutic Vaccines: Beyond prevention, researchers are investigating vaccines as potential treatments for chronic 
diseases and cancers. These therapeutic vaccines aim to stimulate the immune system to target and eliminate specific 
cells associated with diseases.

Enhanced Vaccine Distribution and Storage: Advances in vaccine distribution and storage technologies are crucial 
for ensuring that vaccines reached remote or challenging locations. This included innovations in cold chain logistics 
and the development of vaccines that are more stable at higher temperatures.

Personalized Vaccines: Advances in genomics and immunology may contribute to the development of personalized 
vaccines tailored to an individual's genetic makeup and immune profile. This could enhance vaccine efficacy and 
reduce the risk of ad-verse reactions.

Adjuvant Technologies: Adjuvants, substances added to vaccines to enhance the immune response, are under investigation 
to improve vaccine effectiveness, especially in vulnerable populations like the elderly.

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