I was recently told there is a high demand in China for new, high-end luxury cars. An acquaintance of mine has a brother in another state who seeks out straw purchasers in other states to buy these cars for him so that he can export them to buyers in China. The exporter wires the money to the straw buyer and pays the straw buyer a fee to conduct this transaction. I am told that the manufactures don't like this practice because it hurts their supply/demand oversears. I am also told that dealers can be penalized by the maufacturer if they sell a car that they know is destined for export. My questions are:
1) Is this practice (straw buying) illegal according to any U.S. law?
2) If not, what liability does the straw buyer have, if any (aside from insurance, etc)?
3) Any other thoughts about this type of practice?
Thank you - there isn't a lot of data out there that addresses this.