Get the Global IP Investigations and Enforcement Perspective

Industry content delivered straight to your inbox.
Email address
Secure and Spam free...

“Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Trafficking of Counterfeit Apple Goods Into the United States.”

Three days ago I shared a February 2nd U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release on my blog’s daily “IP Theft/Infringement” news feed titled, “Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Trafficking of Counterfeit Apple Goods Into the United States.”[1]

This case presents a useful profile of these counterfeiters, as well as their modus operandi.

Here are a few hi-lights:

  • Counterfeit operation active from July 2009 through February 2014
  • Chinese national (43 years of age in the U.S. on a Student Visa)
  • Chinese national’s company located in Hong Kong with manufacturing facilities in China
  • 3-Conspirators (common Italian first and last names) located in Florida and New Jersey, respectively
  • 40,000 iPads and iPhones smuggled into the U.S.
  • Labels and packaging bearing counterfeit Apple trademarks
  • Chinese national shipped devices separately from labels bearing counterfeit trademarks for later assembly by conspirators on U.S. soil to avoid detection of U.S. Customs
  • Devices then shipped to conspirators all over the U.S. (New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and other states)
  • Counterfeits sold to unsuspecting customers who believed they were purchasing genuine Apple products
  • Sale proceeds funneled back to conspirators in Florida and New Jersey
  • Chinese national received payments totaling $1.1 million from U.S. accounts into his bank accounts via structured cash deposits (less than $10,000. per deposit)
  • A portion of proceeds transferred to conspirators in Italy
  • Estimated manufacturer’s retail price for the equivalent number of genuine items: $15,000,000.
  • One of the three conspirators has been sentenced to 37 months in prison (the others are awaiting sentencing)

It is worth noting the Chinese national’s extra effort (as well as his conspirators) to avoid U.S. law enforcement detection, as well as the Chinese national’s age and student visa status.

This successful outcome was the result of a joint investigation that included DOJ, Homeland Security Investigations, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Financial Crimes Unit, Europol, and Italy’s Guardia di Finanza.

*Additional details noted above were extracted from the initial indictment on record with Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER.)

[1] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-national-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-and-trafficking-counterfeit-apple-goods-united

 

Disclaimer: IPPIBlog.com is offered as a service to the professional IP community. While every effort has been made to check information in this blog, we provide no guarantees or warranties, express or implied, with regard to content provided in IPPIBlog.com. We disclaim any and all liability and responsibility for the qualification or accuracy of representations made by the contributors or for any disputes that may arise. It is the responsibility of the readers to independently investigate and verify the credentials of such person and the accuracy and validity of the information provided by them. This blog is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or other professional advice.

Did you find this post useful?
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join other IP protection professionals, i.e., investigators, attorneys, and brand protection specialists and receive updates straight to your inbox.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Ron Alvarez is a licensed private investigator and IP investigations specialist in New York City. He is a former NYPD lieutenant where he investigated robbery, narcotics, internal affairs, and fine art cases. Ron is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and earned a B.A. in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. He has published a number of articles on various topics for PI Magazine. Ron is licensed in New York State.

4 comments on ““Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Trafficking of Counterfeit Apple Goods Into the United States.”

  1. Steve Dahut

    Well done Ron. Thanks.

  2. Timothy ONeill

    Great Work and interesting topic Thanks for including me and staying informed

  3. Wow you truly never know what is real and what isn’t. How can a consumer know if they are being sold a counterfeit? Thanks for the information.

Leave a Reply

Get the Global IP Investigations and Enforcement Perspective

Industry content delivered straight to your inbox.
Email address
Secure and Spam free...
%d bloggers like this: