HARBOR FALLS, Mich.
— — The owner of a Michigan cargo yard that helped ship millions of dollars worth of freight to and from the United States has pleaded guilty to felony fraud charges.
Karen Fink, 49, who was a top official at the Harbor Freight Lifestyle and Trading, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and one count each of conspiracy, mail fraud and mail fraud in connection with the sale of a sawmill in western Michigan.
The indictment against Fink is the first criminal charge brought against her in the United Kingdom.
Fink and the sawmill company did business in England and Wales for about five years.
Fink and her husband, John Fink of Michigan, used the saw mill to ship millions and millions of pounds of freight a year to and fro between the United State and Europe, the indictment said.
The charges against Finkle, who is married with two children, came a day after British authorities arrested a man in the British Virgin Islands who allegedly paid a shipping company for shipping thousands of pounds worth of junk to Europe, including some items destined for U.S. markets.
British officials say that the British man, whose name was not released because he is a British citizen, sent more than $10 million worth of goods to the United Nations and other countries through Fink’s sawmill.
Authorities say Fink helped set up the company that shipped millions of euros worth of mail, food and other goods, while also making payments to Fink on behalf of the shipping company.
The case has been investigated by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office and the U-K.