Orange County, Calif., Man sentenced to 2 years in prison for multi-million dollar conspiracy to smuggle counterfeit cellphone parts from China




July 9, 2021 – SANTA ANA, California – An Orange County man was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle counterfeit Apple, Samsung and Motorola cells phone components from China that were then sold to consumers in the United States, a program that generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

Chan Hung Le, 46, of Laguna Hills, was convicted by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton, who also ordered him to pay a fine of $ 250,000.

Le pleaded guilty in November 2020 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, intentional trafficking in counterfeit goods, and illegal bringing of goods into the United States.

From late 2011 to February 2015, Le conspired with others to import cellphone parts and other electronic items bearing counterfeit marks from China. In pursuing the conspiracy, Le set up and used mailboxes with virtual office service providers in Oklahoma and Texas using a fictitious business name, JV Trading Solutions. In pursuing the plot, Le also used the name and identity documents of one of his employees to set up the virtual offices and ordered other conspirators to ship branded goods under the names of employees or relatives of Le. After the counterfeit goods arrived, Le and his co-conspirators distributed the coins to the public through various online stores.

“[Le]… Orchestrated an elaborate ploy to deceive customs officials by creating secret shipping channels from Hong Kong and China to various US states, ”prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “From this conduct and deception, [Le] generated millions of dollars in profits. [Le] has enlisted many other parties in his conduct – including his dating partner, employees (voluntary or not), other family members and virtual messaging companies without their knowledge. It was a sophisticated, long-standing and very profitable offense. “

In 2016, one of Le’s suppliers, Hongwei “Nick” Du, pleaded guilty in United States District Court in San Diego to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and to money laundering. In his plea deal, Du admitted that he sold Le for at least $ 18,744,354 worth of cell phones and electronic components for resale from China to the United States and that about half of the goods were counterfeit items bearing trademarks of Apple, Samsung, Motorola and other companies. Du was sentenced to three years in federal prison.

The Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection Investigations of the United States and the Westminster Police Department have investigated the matter.

Deputy United States Attorney Cameron L. Schroeder, Chief of the Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Crime Section, and United States Deputy Prosecutors Lauren E. Restrepo and Victoria A. Degtyareva, also of the Criminal Crime Section cyber and intellectual property, continued his case.

Source: MJ press release



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