Tuesday, June 21, 2011
After nearly two years of investigative work by our U.S. Customs officials and their long list of serious allegations in the case of the Skyline GT-Rs, Kaizo principle Daryl Alison was ordered to pay a $1,000.00 fine for one count of ordering the removal of a tag from an imported article indicating country of origin. That's it! Not one more charge was levied against Alison. Many of the comments made by customs officials to the press were apparently false and very exaggerated. Perhaps they were bitter about the U.S. Attorneys Office decision to offer such a minuscule plea deal, knowing their case likely wouldn't hold up in court. The fine appears to have been a way to save face.
From what I understand, Alison's decision to take the deal was based on two issues: The first was his projected legal costs to fight this any further (close to $150,000.00) and the fact that it would have tied up another two years of his life. The second was that Alison would only have to plead to one count and it would apply only to Alison's personal car and not to any of his clients' cars. So Daryl agreed to pay the fine to wrap up the trial portion of this whole affair, which has cost him too much of his time, money and unfortunately, his reputation, while trying to protect his customers from the same type of misguided prosecution that was brought against him.
Alison says it is unclear what customs agents will do from this point forward. It is understood they are still seeking other cars imported from other sources. Daryl, for his part, continues to stand by his position, that the vehicle parts that he was involved in importing were completely within the language of the law and it would appear by this plea deal, that the Feds felt arguing the point was better left out of the court room. For the few other Kaizo cars seized by customs, it will be interesting to see how the Feds will argue they were unlawfully imported, when the actual importer was never charged nor ever acknowledged any guilt of unlawful importation for those cars.
Moving forward has been difficult for Alison and this writer is partly responsible. In an effort to stick up for him, truly believing he had done nothing wrong, my prior article ended up doing more harm than good. Apparently it got a lot of traffic, and unfortunately, it is the first thing people see when they google Daryl's name. That's not fair to a man who has himself served in law enforcement, who has started a number of businesses that have served charities, and who has always worked within the law to bring his customers what they wanted.
Apologies to Daryl. May anyone googling him see this and ignore the other claims. Alison is a stand-up guy who has been maligned in the press and unfairly accused by the authorities who were seemingly more interested in some cheap ink. They got their headlines alright, but rather than getting a conviction, the headline should read, "ICE Unjustly Accuses Importer, Wastes Taxpayer Dollars and Pisses Off Enthusiasts." Hopefully they aren't reading this. If I get audited or cavity searched the next time I fly, you'll all know who was behind it.