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Can UL lie to the federal government with impunity?

Evidence of UL’s Lying to the Federal Government

Evidence of UL’s Perjuring under Oath

Can UL use the Department of Homeland Security as its private army to destroy American business and jobs illegally?

Evidence of UL’s Destroying American Business for Its High Paying Asian Customers

 

UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., is a global product testing company that owns the well-known certification mark. But UL lies and perjures, and committed illegal acts to destroy American business and jobs. Below is the story.

**If you would like to review the documents and verify the facts, please email me at jude.shao@gmail.com.

Can UL lie to the federal government with impunity?

I am engaged in a one-man’s fight against corporate gangsterism, deception and illegal acts committed by a large and corrupt company, UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. UL owns the well-known  certification mark and enjoys a monopoly in its trademark, but UL also lies and perjures, and would not hesitate to commit illegal acts to get what it wants. That is why I am publishing this blog which serves as an exposé of UL’s lying to the federal government to falsely accuse me of federal crimes, and of UL’s using the Department of Homeland Security as its private army to destroy American business and American jobs on behalf of its high paying Asian customers.

I am an entrepreneur and a graduate of the Stanford Business School. In October 2016, agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided my company, American Energy Products LLC, a Houston-based manufacturer of butane gas canisters sold in Wal-Mart and other stores throughout the U.S. that replaced Asian imports. They confiscated my iPhone and laptop, seized our inventory, and shut down our factory after telling me that I was under federal criminal investigation for “Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods” and “Mail Fraud”, two crimes that carry a minimum sentence of 10 years.

I had only founded American Energy Product LLC three years ago when I returned to the U.S. after being unjustly imprisoned in China for 10 years for refusing to pay bribes while running my first company exporting American medical equipment to China. My plight in China attracted wide media coverage and was cited by the Bush administration as an example of human rights abuse in China. Then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeatedly raised my case with the Chinese President in her many official visits to China. In 2008, one month before President Bush attended the Beijing Olympics, I was released from prison in China. Five years later, I returned to the U.S. to begin a new life.

Our company was the only manufacturer of its kind in America that produced butane gas canisters for Wal-Mart and other stores in the U.S to replace Asian imports. My friends and family, including Stanford MBA classmates, invested in the company, believing the time was right to make this product in the U.S. again. Little did they know that in three years, the Department of Homeland Security would raid our company and I would face a long prison sentence again, this time in the U.S., my adopted home Country.

Fortunately, America’s rule of law saved me from being wronged again. After reviewing our company’s UL Certificate, the evidence that our Sky Blue Butane Canister was certified and authorized to bear the UL Mark, the U.S. Attorney’s Office promptly ended the criminal case and instructed the Department of Homeland Security to return seized inventory to us. No longer facing the prison, I tried to restart the company but failed hopelessly. Our factory had been rusted out and no customer would come back because UL had publicly accused us of making counterfeit product. Soon after, we closed the doors permanently, leaving a prospering American factory in ruins and many American jobs destroyed.

I lost my company because of the illegal and unethical acts committed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a Chicago based product testing company and the owner of the UL Certification Mark . UL has offices in 46 countries and sells its UL Mark to global manufacturers, collecting more than a billion dollars in fees each year. In 2014, our company signed a contract and paid UL to certify the safety of our Sky Blue Butane Canister product. After nine months of testing and examination, UL issued a Certificate of Compliance and authorized the use of UL Mark on our product. But one year later, UL, urged by Asian manufacturers who had been UL’s long time and high paying customers, wanted us to stop shipping our product so that the Asian manufacturers could regain the American market they had lost to us. When we refused UL’s highly unethical and illegal request, UL became very vindictive and resorted to illegal means to destroy our American company and American jobs.

Four months after we terminated our relationship with UL in April 2016, UL sent an employee who was a former police officer with some special relationship with the Department of Homeland Security to open a criminal investigation against our company. UL lied boldly to the federal agents, accusing me of serious federal crimes by falsely claiming that our company had never been authorized to use the UL Mark and our product had never been tested by UL. Based on UL employee’s verbal representation without any supporting evidence, the Department of Homeland Security obtained a federal Search Warrant and invited the UL employee to participate in the federal raid to seize our inventory and destroy our factory along with many American jobs.

However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston quickly discovered the lies UL had told and instructed the Department of Homeland Security to return all seized inventory to us after closing the criminal case in May 2017. When we sued UL in Texas for its lying to the federal authorities and malicious prosecution, UL lied further and perjured itself under oath to cover up its criminal offense. Using its special relationship with the federal government and unlimited financial resources, UL hired the best lawyers in the country and deployed a scorched-earth strategy to make our lawsuit impossible to continue. They also initiated a vexatious federal suit in an Illinois federal court in order to harass and intimidate me personally. Soon our company was forced to withdraw our lawsuit against UL in Texas. But I refused to settle, and continued the federal suit in Illinois in order to expose UL’s dark side to public.

UL portrays itself as a guardian of public safety, but is in fact a private for-profit enterprise, where its actions are largely driven by profit, with little or no concern for ethics. In our case, UL had no qualms about the safety of our product, but a strong desire to help Asian manufacturers to drive us out of business so they can continue to collect large fees from our Asian competitors. Because UL is a monopoly in its trademark certification with a very special relationship with the Department of Homeland Security, they have unchecked commercial power and act almost like an authoritarian regime backed by the awesome power of the federal government. They can easily lie to the federal authorities and deploy the Department of Homeland Security to destroy a small American factory illegally with impunity. On its website UL purports to have a “strong reputation for integrity and ethical behavior”, but its behavior says otherwise in this case. It’s time that we expose UL for what it is and hold it accountable for its illegal acts. Please join me in the fight against corporate gangsterism, deception, and illegal acts.

Thank you.

Note: If you would like to review the documents and verify the facts, please email me at jude.shao@gmail.com.

 

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Evidence of UL’s Destroying American Business For Asian Manufacturers

As I wrote in the main post, I founded American Energy Products LLC (“AEP”) in Houston, Texas in 2013 to manufacture butane gas canisters used in outdoor cooking, catering and camping activities. My company was the only manufacturer of its kind in America making this popular consumer product for Wal-Mart and other stores in the U.S. to replace Asian imports. We aspired to bring manufacturing back and create American jobs.

UL is a Chicago based product testing company and the owner of the UL Certification Mark . It has offices in 46 countries and sells its UL Mark services globally, collecting fees over a billion dollars each year from manufacturers worldwide.

In 2014, we signed a contract for UL to test and certify the safety of our Sky Blue Butane canister product. After nine months of testing and examination, UL issued a Certificate of Compliance and authorized the use of the UL Mark on our product. We then sold our product in the U.S. to replace the imports from the Asian manufacturers, who had been exporting to the U.S. for many years before. All these Asian manufacturers had also been long time UL customers and paid more license fees to UL then we did.

A year after we started selling our product, “a different manufacturer”, a.k.a. an Asian manufacturer, asked UL “specifically” about our company and told UL that we “were very deceptive in business practices”. This kind of rumor mongering was not surprising because as we grew and took the U.S. market away from the Asian manufactures, it was not surprising that they would bad mouth us to fret about the U.S. market it had lost.

UL, as an independent testing and certification company, is legally and ethically prohibited from favoring one customer over the other. But unbeknownst to us at the time, UL decided to disrupt our business at the behest of the Asian manufacturers, possibly to maximize the fees it could collect globally.

A few weeks later, “after getting some information from another manufacturer“, a UL Field Representative made an unscheduled visit to our factory and immediately issued two Variation Notices (“VNs”), demanding us to stop shipping immediately and requiring that all the “existing product to be reworked, scrapped and/or labels removed”. We were shocked by UL’s sudden and arbitrary demands and had never seen UL’s taking such a capricious action against a U.S. licensee like that without any warning before.

At first, we found UL’s action puzzling. The issuance of the VNs didn’t make any sense because we had been producing and selling the product for more than a year since being certified by UL. Since we had not changed anything on our product, why would there be any variation? On the day of the UL Field Representative’s unscheduled visit to our factory, we were making exactly the same product then as a year ago, a product he had personally seen and inspected no less than three times before. Why would the UL Field Representative suddenly say our product was no longer conforming to UL requirements?

We also found all the “non-conformance” alleged in the VNs were baseless. The first was about the wording of “Model: SB-1” printed on the label of our product. A year after being certified and repeatedly examined during the Follow-Up Service inspections, the UL’s Field Representative suddenly determined that the “Model: SB-1” printed on our Sky Blue Butane canister was no longer an equivalent of the “Model SBB-211604” described in the UL Certificate, and demanded that “existing product to be reworked, scrapped and/or labels removed. No additional use of UL Mark under this construction.”

The second “non-conformance” was even more ridiculous. It concerned about the pre-printing of our product label on the metal cans we purchased from Ball Corporation. Ball Corporation is the largest can manufacturer and a Fortune 100 company in the U.S., and pre-printing of a product label on metal cans is an industry standard practice. UL had recommended us to purchase our metal cans from Ball Corporation and approved the pre-printed label on the metal cans long before our certification. Anyone shopping in Wal-Mart will find that all metal-can packaged products have pre-printed label on them. Our product was no exception. Yet the UL Field Representative suddenly decided that this industry standard practice was no longer acceptable to UL, and that the “situation would require a split inspection to verify traceability.” Yet three weeks later, the UL Field Representative told us that “this is a unique situation” and “I will have to talk to Engineering to see how they want to proceed.”

It is important to note that all the “non-conformance” alleged in the VNs did not concern the safety of our product being produced at our factory, as they were only related to the marking of the product under the UL-147B Standard. This shows that UL wanted us to stop shipping our product not because it was unsafe, but because it didn’t give UL enough “traceability” to see whether the license fees for the UL Mark had been paid. But the marking of our product had been examined by UL and recorded in the UL Report prior to certification, and we had not changed anything at all since then. And we had been renewing and paying for the UL Mark Program annually since certification. Why suddenly the UL Field Representative was concerned whether we had paid the proper license fees for the UL Mark printed on our product? Why would that be a “non-conformance”?

Sensing the UL Field Representative’s cynical intent to disrupt our business at the behest of our competitors, we reported the incident to UL’s headquarters and disputed all the “non-conformance” in the VNs. Under questioning, the UL Field Representative admitted that he had issued the VNs without actually knowing whether a split inspection was needed, saying it was “a unique situation” and “I don’t know of any situations similar to this one”. Later, the UL Staff Engineer who had certified our product concluded that a split-inspection was not needed, and wrote that he “would need to “revise the UL records…so that the UL Field Representative is aware that this is an acceptable arrangement”.

Seeing the flip flop of UL’s erratic behavior, we confirmed our worst nightmare that UL was attempting to disrupt our business deliberately, probably for the benefit of the Asian manufacturers, who were paying much higher fees to UL at the time. UL’a action was highly corrupt and unethical, which left us with no choice but to cancel our relationship with UL. On April 30, 2016, we formally terminated our contract with UL when we let the UL Mark Program expire without a renewal.

Having lost a fee-paying customer while failing to disrupt our business, UL became very vindictive. It immediately embarked on an elaborate scheme to induce the federal government to destroy our company completely. A few months later, UL sent an employee, who was a former police officer, to the Department of Homeland Security to open a criminal case against our company. Using its “special relationship“, UL was able to persuade the federal government to authorize a criminal investigation within days just based off UL employee’s verbal representation without obtaining a sworn affidavit.

UL then lied blatantly to accuse me of federal crimes and to obtain a Search and Seizure Warrant from a federal court. With participation of the UL employee, agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided our company, confiscated my iPhone and laptop, seized our inventory, and shut down our factory after telling us that we were under federal investigation for “Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods” and “Mail Fraud”, two crimes carrying a minimum sentence of 10 years.

After the federal raid, UL issued a Public Notice, falsely accusing us of using “a counterfeit UL Mark” and telling the public that our Sky Blue Butane product “has not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate Standard for Safety”, in total contradiction to the Certificate of Compliance it had issued to us before.

Although the U.S. Attorney’s Office quickly discovered the lies UL had told and terminated the criminal case promptly, our business was decimated under the weight of the federal criminal investigation as well as UL’s illegal acts and libelous Public Notice. Our production lines had been rusted out and no customer would come back to buy from us because UL had deceitfully accused us of selling counterfeit product. Soon after, our company was closed, leaving a prospering American factory in ruins and many American jobs lost.

Strangely, UL did not think it was a serious matter to ask the federal government to open a criminal investigation, even though it recognized that lying to the federal government would be a potential criminal offense. Because of the “special relationship” it had with the Department of Homeland Security, UL was able to lie with impunity and deploy the awesome power of the federal government to destroy an American business at the behest of Asian manufacturers. For details of how UL lied, see my next post Evidence Of UL’s Lying To The Federal Government.

Note: If you would like to review the documents and verify the facts, please email me at jude.shao@gmail.com.

 

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Evidence Of UL’s Lying To The Federal Government

As I wrote in the main post, our company, American Energy Products LLC (“AEP”) was a Houston, Texas based manufacturer of butane gas canisters used in outdoor cooking, catering and camping activities. Our company was the only manufacturer of its kind in America making this product for Wal-Mart and other stores in the U.S. We aspired to bring manufacturing back and create American jobs.

UL is a Chicago based product testing company and the owner of the UL Certification Mark . It has offices in 46 countries and sells its UL Mark services globally, collecting fees over a billion dollars each year from manufacturers worldwide.

In 2014, we contracted UL to certify the safety of our product. After nine months of test and examination, UL issued a Certificate of Compliance and authorized the use of the UL Mark on our Sky Blue Butane product. We then sold our product in the U.S. to replace the imports from the Asian manufacturers. All these Asian manufacturers had been long time UL customers and paid more license fees to UL then we did.

A year after we started selling our product in the U.S., UL, at the behest of the Asian manufacturers who were our main competitors, suddenly demanded us to stop shipping and to scarp our existing inventory so the Asian manufacturers could regain the American market they had lost to us. When we refused and terminated our relationship with UL in April 2016, UL became very vindictive.

Using its “special relationship” with the Department of Homeland Security, UL was able to persuade the federal government to open a criminal case just based on a UL employee’s verbal representation without obtaining a sworn affidavit. UL then lied boldly to induce the federal government to raid our company and destroy our business without proper cause. Later, when the federal authorities discovered the lies UL had told, UL lied further to cover up. Below are the four major lies UL had told the federal authorities.

Lie #1: AEP became a UL customer on October 15, 2014

UL sent an employee, who was a former police officer, to the Department of Homeland Security to open a criminal case against our company. In his witness statement, the UL employee stated that “American Energy Products, LLC (“AEP”) became a UL customer on October 15, 2014.” This is a blatant lie because we had initiated the certification process with UL in early January 2014, signed a contract, paid for the UL services, and received UL’s Certificate of Compliance on October 16, 2014. The misrepresentation of the date of AEP’s initiation of UL’s certification process allowed UL to omit the critical fact that AEP had completed the certification and received UL’s Certificate Of Compliance which authorized AEP’s use of UL Mark on its product.

UL’s legal department assisted the UL employee in drafting this witness statement that misstated the date of our initial contact with UL and omitted the fact that UL had issued a Certificate to us on October 16, 2014. Although both the UL lawyer and the UL employee took great care to ensure that those witness statements were true and correct, no body caught that incorrect date. This is not surprising because UL didn’t think it was a serious matter to ask the federal government to open a criminal investigation.

Yet the federal government relied on UL’s erroneous witness statements in opening the criminal investigation. Had UL not misrepresented and omitted critical facts, the federal authorities would have asked “Did AEP SKY BLUE BUTANE ever have permission to produce the UL trademark? lf production was ever authorized, what prevents sale and distribution?”

Lie #2: AEP was never authorized to use the UL mark

To induce the Department of Homeland Security to open a criminal investigation, UL claimed that it had never authorized the use of UL Mark on our Sky Blue Butane product.  This is a lie that UL constantly repeated in the emails and documents it provided to the federal government, including a C&D letter it had sent to us.

But the facts contradicted this lie. The UL Certificate of Compliance states that “representative samples of SBB-211604 Nonrefillable type metal container assembly for butane Have been investigated by UL in accordance with the
Standard(s) indicated on this Certificate”, and UL’s witness statements state that “if the representative samples are found by UL to comply with the applicable standards and requirements, the manufacturer is permitted to place labels bearing the authorized UL Mark to such of the manufacturer’s products as the manufacture, through its own internal procedures, finds to be in compliance with UL’s requirements”. These documents clearly establish that UL had authorized us to use the UL Mark on our Sky Blue Butane product.

Lie #3: UL had no record of ever testing AEP’s product

In the same C&D letter, as well as the Public Notice provided to the federal authorities, UL claimed that it had no record of certifying our Sky Blue Butane product. But this is just another lie UL boldly asserted, blatantly ignoring the following documentary evidence.

Here, UL had not only issued a Certificate of Compliance along with a UL Report for our product, but also kept a 50-page internal LABORATORY DATA PACKAGE which recorded all the tests and examinations performed throughout the certification process. How could UL assert that it had “no record of certifying products on behalf of Sky Blue Butane”?

Lie #4: An Initial Product Inspection had not been completed

The federal authorities discovered the lies UL had told quickly after the federal raid. When Agent Lehmann emailed UL a copy of our certificate and questioned UL whether we had actually been authorized before, UL realized that it may have committed a criminal offense, it doubled down on its lying and invented a whole new story by which it claimed that an Initial Product Inspection had never been completed.

In response to Agent Lehmann’s request for an “examplar of an actual authorization” for review by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, UL legal department advised the UL employee to emailed back two weeks later to say that our company had “never received any authorization from UL because UL had not completed an Initial Product Inspection (IPI)”.

This new lie about IPI is also contradicted by the facts. According to UL’s Follow-Up Service Terms and other rules and representations, an IPI is intended to evaluate whether each manufacturer of a product has been determined is eligible for its use of the UL Mark is, at the time of the IPI, producing the product in accordance with the UL requirements as set in the Follow-Up Service Procedure, commencing with the very first production run. The IPI is considered to be the first site visit for the product after the certification decision has been made, and following an Initial Product Inspection, regular inspections will take place.

Here, a UL Field Representative sent me an email on October 20, 2014 to schedule an Initial Product Inspect. Two weeks later, the same UL Field Representative completed the IPI when he made his first visit to our factory and inspected our Sky Blue Butane product on November 4, 2014. Upon completion of the IPI, the UL Field Representative emailed me with a subject line of “FUStart” to announce the official start of UL’s Follow-Up Service. Afterwards, the UL Field Representative conducted two regular FUS inspections on December 17, 2014 and March 10, 2015. There is no question that an IPI was completed by UL on November 4, 2014.

Using IPI as a lack of authorization was a new lie invented by UL’s legal department in a desperate effort to cover up the old lies it had told the federal government. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office saw through it too, and never responded to UL’s plea for a meeting to explain. Apparently, the federal government was quite fed up with UL’s constant lying by that time.

Federal authorities relied on UL’s lies in opening and pursuing a criminal investigation

In the “AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF AN APPLICATION FOR A SEARCH WARRANT“, the federal authorities recited UL’s lies to obtain a federal Search Warrant to raid our company and shut down our factory. Specifically, Agent Lehmann stated that “In November of 2014, SBB initiated the certification process with UL for the purpose of obtaining the right to use the UL trademark on their butane fuel canisters” and that “At ‘no time’ has SBB been authorized to use the UL trademark on their products,” two lies UL had boldly asserted because of the “special relationship” it had with the Department of Homeland Security,

But whatever the lies UL had perpetuated, the U.S. Attorney’s Office saw through them quickly. Seven months after our company was raided by the federal government, the U.S. Attorney’s Office ended criminal case and instructed the Department of Homeland Security to return all seized inventory to us. Later, when we sued UL for malicious prosecution, a few UL employees perjured under oath to cover up their potentially criminal acts of lying to the federal authorities. See my next post “Evidence Of UL’s Perjuring Under Oath”.

Note: If you would like to review the documents and verify the facts, please email me at jude.shao@gmail.com.

 

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Evidence Of UL’s Perjuring Under Oath

As I wrote in the main post, our company, American Energy Products LLC (“AEP”) was a Houston, Texas based manufacturer of butane gas canisters used in outdoor cooking, catering and camping activities. Our company was the only manufacturer of its kind in America making this product for Wal-Mart and other stores in the U.S. We aspired to bring manufacturing back and create American jobs.

UL is a Chicago based product testing company and the owner of the UL Certification Mark . It has offices in 46 countries and sells its UL Mark services globally, collecting fees over a billion dollars each year from manufacturers worldwide.

In 2014, we contracted UL to certify the safety of our product and after nine months of testing and examination, UL issued a Certificate of Compliance and authorized the use of the UL Mark on our Sky Blue Butane product. We then sold our product in the U.S. to replace the imports from Asia.

A year later, UL, at the behest of the Asian manufacturers who were our main competitors, suddenly demanded us to stop shipping and to scrap our existing inventory. When we refused UL’s illegal demand and terminated our relationship with UL, UL became very vindictive.

Using its “special relationship with the Department of Homeland Security, UL asked the federal government to open a criminal investigation and raided our company for “Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods” and “Mail Fraud”, two crimes carrying a minimum sentence of 10 years. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office soon discovered UL’s lies and terminated the criminal case promptly.

When we sued UL for lying to the federal government and using the Department of Homeland Security as its private army to destroy American business and American jobs illegally, UL lied profusely in depositions under oath to cover up. Below are three examples of perjury committed by three key UL employees.

Perjury #1: Documents showed “Initial Product Inspection” was never completed

To open a federal criminal investigation against our company, UL used its “special relationship” with the Department of Homeland Security to lie about its prior interactions with our company and hide the fact that it had tested our product and issued a Certificate of Compliance before.  When the federal authorities discovered UL’s lies and asked UL to clarify them, UL’s legal department got involved and invented a “whole new story” in order to cover up their original lies.

Directed by UL’s legal department, Mr. Aaron Aguilar, a former police officer who was the UL employee in charge of interacting with the federal government, sent an email to the federal agents stating that “AEP never received any authorization to apply a UL mark on their canisters. Multiple Variation Notices that were issued to AEP clearly noted that AEP had not completed the certification process with an Initial Product Inspection”. This was a new lie orchestrated by UL’s legal department to offer an alternative theory, namely, the lack of an IPI, to support UL’s false assertion that UL had never authorized the use of UL mark on our product.

After we sued UL, Mr. Aguilar was asked in a deposition under oath whether the phrase “Initial Product Inspection” had ever appeared in the documents he had sent to the federal agents. After going through each document, Mr. Aguilar grudgingly admitted that nowhere had the phrase “Initial Product Inspection” ever appeared. Caught with lying to the federal government, Mr. Aguilar perjured himself by insisting his email “intended to be communicated to Agent Lehmann of those interactions is accurate”.

Mr. Aguilar’s perjury was unavoidable. Had he admitted that he and UL’s legal department lied to the federal agents about the documents they had sent, they could face criminal liability. So Mr. Aguilar had to give false testimony to cover up what Mr. Aguilar had testified earlier, “you know, it could be a – potentially a criminal act.”

Perjury #2: Another manufacturer had specifically asked UL about our company and mentioned we were “very deceptive” in our business practices

To help an Asian Manufacturer drive our company out of business, Mr. Clint Ferguson, a UL Field Representative, told his manager at UL that “a different manufacturer” had “specifically” asked him about our company and told him that we “were very deceptive in business practices”. After “getting some information from another manufacturer”, he stopped by at our factory and demanded us to stop shipping our product in the U.S. immediately.

The “different manufacturer” and/or “another manufacturer” referred in Mr. Ferguson’s emails could only be Asian manufacturers because all UL certified manufacturers for butane fuel canisters were based in Asia except for us. The Asian manufacturers had been long time UL customers and paid much more license fees to UL than we did. As we competed with them and took away the U.S. market from them, it was not surprising that they would disparage us and try to sabotage our business. And UL’s helping its high fee paying Asian customers to destroy American business and American jobs was not only unethical, but probably illegal in the U.S.

When we sued UL, we asked Mr. Ferguson in a deposition under oath to identify the manufacturer who had “specifically” asked him about us and disparaged our company. Instead of telling the truth, Mr. Ferguson gave the name of a company that he did not even know “what all they supply” and had “never mentioned” our company to him. Although he claimed that “I don’t remember the details”, the UL online directory shows that the company Mr. Ferguson identified was neither a manufacturer nor in the business of filling butane canisters. It was clear that Mr. Ferguson was deliberately giving false testimony and perjuring himself under oath.

Ferguson’s perjury was obvious and egregious. By lying about the identity of the manufacturer who had “specifically” asked UL about our company, Mr. Ferguson was hiding the fact that UL had helped its high paying Asian customer to destroy an American business and American jobs illegally, using the Department of Homeland Security as its private army.

Perjury #3: UL Staff Engineer did not issue the Certificate of Compliance, nor did UL Staff Engineer know whether the product complied with the Standard before the Certificate was issued

In October 2014, UL issued a Certificate of Compliance to authorize the use of UL mark on our Sky Blue Butane product after nine months of testing and examination. Mr. Timothy Crews, a UL Staff Engineer who had worked for UL for 36 years, was in charge of UL’s testing and certification process and personally sent the original UL Certificate to us when it was issued.

In a deposition under oath after we sued UL for lying to the federal government, Mr. Crews suddenly developed serious amnesia and claimed he did not remember much of anything about testing and certifying our product.  Worse yet, when confronted with the documentary evidence, he had to perjure himself to corroborate the two lies UL had told the federal government before.

In asking the Department of Homeland Security to raid our company and shut down our factory, UL lied repeatedly to the federal agents, asserting 1) “UL has no record of certifying products on behalf of” our company and 2) “the Sky Blue Butane fuel canister has not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate Standards for Safety”. These two lies are contradicted by the Certificate of Compliance UL had issued, the UL Laboratory Records Mr. Crews had kept, and the UL Report Mr. Crews had personally signed.

When we sued UL, Mr. Crews said in a deposition under oath that “I did not issue a certificate of compliance” and that he did not know “whether or not AEP’s products complied with this standard or not before the Certificate of Compliance was issued”. Mr. Crews’ statements not only contradicted his earlier statement that “AEP’s product complied with each of the standards set forth within UL-147B before UL issued a certificate of compliance to AEP”, but also the words in the UL Certificate that “Samples of SBB-211604 Nonrefillable type metal container assembly for butane have been investigated by UL in accordance with the Standard(s) indicated on this Certificate.” They were clearly false and intentional perjury.

But Mr. Crews’ perjury appeared very obvious, reluctant and illogical, a disappointment for UL’s legal department. As the key UL employee most directly related to certifying our product, UL needed him to lie boldly to corroborate the old lies UL had perpetrated against us to the federal government, no matter how tenuous or illogical it would seem. Unfortunately, Mr. Crews is not a person who can lie easily or is capable of lying with a straight face.

Compared with UL’s lying to the federal authorities, a potential criminal act, making false statements and changing testimony in depositions are only civil offenses. It is disheartening to see a highly respected engineer in a venerable company had to commit perjury to protect the company from criminal liability. If UL continues this practice, it will sink so low to become a corrupt and unethical company quickly.

See my next post Can UL Use the Department of Homeland Security As Its Private Army to Destroy American Business and American Jobs Illegally On Behalf of Its Asian Customers?

Note: If you would like to review the documents and verify the facts, please email me at jude.shao@gmail.com.

 

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Can UL use the Department of Homeland Security as its private army to destroy American business and jobs illegally?

On October 20, 2016, Department of Homeland Security raid our company, American Energy Products LLC, a Houston, Texas based manufacturer of butane gas canisters. Executing a federal Search Warrant, the agents seized our inventory, confiscated our computers and my personal iPhone, and shut down our factory, leaving a nascent American manufacturing company in ruins and many American jobs destroyed.

American Energy Products LLC was founded in 2013 to produce butane gas canisters to replace the Asian imports sold in Walmart and other stores throughout the U.S. Our company was the only factory of its kind in North America that used low-cost American shale gas to compete directly with Asian manufacturers for the global market. In early 2014, we signed a contract and paid UL to certify the safety of our product. Nine months later, UL issued a Certificate and authorized the use of the UL Mark on our Sky Blue Butane canisters. But one year later, UL, urged by Asian manufacturers who had been UL’s long time and high paying customers, suddenly wanted us to stop shipping our product so that the Asian manufacturers could regain the market share they had lost to us. When we refused UL’s illegal demand, UL became very vindictive and resorted to illegal means to destroy our American company and American jobs.

UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., is a Chicago based product testing company and the owner of the well-known  Certification Mark. UL has offices in 46 countries and sells its UL Mark to global manufacturers, collecting more than a billion dollars in fees each year.

In August 2016, four months after we refused UL’s illegal demand and terminated our relationship with UL, UL sent an employee who was a former police officer with a special relationship with the Department of Homeland Security to open a criminal investigation against our company. UL lied boldly to the federal agents, accusing me of serious federal crimes by falsely claiming that our company had never been authorized to use the UL Mark and our product had never been tested by UL. Based on UL employee’s verbal representation without any supporting evidence, the Department of Homeland Security obtained a federal Search Warrant and invited the UL employee to participate in the federal raid to seize our inventory and destroy our business and jobs.

However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston quickly discovered the lies UL had told and halted the criminal investigation promptly. After reviewing our company’s UL Certificate, the evidence that our Sky Blue Butane Canister was certified and authorized to bear the UL Mark, the U.S. Attorney’s Office instructed the Department of Homeland Security to return all seized inventory to us and ended the criminal case in May 2017.

But the damage had already been done. Because of UL’s lying to the federal government and abusively using its special relationship with the Department of Homeland Security, an American factory was destroyed illegally and many American jobs lost permanently.

UL is a large and corrupt company. UL may portray itself as a guardian of public safety, but in fact it is a private for-profit enterprise, where its actions are largely driven by profit, with little or no concern for ethics. In this case, UL wanted to help its high paying Asian customers to compete against an American startup company, so they lied to the federal agents and used the Department of Homeland Security as its private army to destroy an American business with ruthless efficiency. Such actions were highly unethical and potentially illegal.

When our company sued UL for lying to the federal authorities and malicious prosecution, UL lied further and perjured itself under oath to cover up its criminal acts. With its unlimited financial resources, UL can afford the best lawyers in the world to help it get away with their egregious criminal acts with impunity.

Because UL has a monopoly on its trademark certification with a special relationship with the Department of Homeland Security, they have unchecked power that can be easily abused when it is backed by the full force and weight of the federal government. On its website UL purports to have a “strong reputation for integrity and ethical behavior”, but its behavior in this case clearly proves otherwise. It’s time that we expose UL’s hypocrisy and hold it accountable for its corrupt acts. Let’s fight UL against its gangsterism, deception, and illegal acts committed under the guise of trademark protection.

Note: If you would like to review the documents and verify the facts, please email me at jude.shao@gmail.com.

 

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