Police Raid TARA Labs

Ashland, OR cable maker, TARA Labs, was raided by a combined force of federal agents and local police, acting on a warrant issued after investigators found sufficient evidence that the company may have mislabeled some of its products as "Made in USA."

Long known through its advertising as the maker of "the cable that God uses," TARA Labs was unable to invoke divine intervention to prevent law enforcement officials from seizing more than $600,000 in inventory, along with computers and company records in a day-long action.

TARA may have violated US customs laws by labeling foreign-made cables as "Made in the USA." Some finished products were terminated in the States, but the raw material may have been sourced elsewhere, according to a September 3 report by Anita Burke in the Mail Tribune, a southern Oregon newspaper. Such labeling could be interpreted as fraud.

Among the items seized were "more than 42,212 cables, price lists, stickers, documents, and computers," Burke reported. Alleged violations stretched all the way back to the beginning of 2000.

Company founder and vice president Matthew Bond said TARA Labs was unaware of labeling problems until the raid, and said the company believed all along that stateside assembling and packaging of finished products from foreign-made components qualified for "Made in USA" labeling.

Customs officials also maintained that some Tara Labs products made entirely in Asia had been sold with "country of origin" tags removed, in violation of federal law. Bond explained that the label removal had been a mistake and promised that "it wouldn't happen again," the Mail Tribune noted.