WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury in Brooklyn, N.Y., has returned a two- count indictment against Shaoxia Huang, Shaoxiong Zhou and Shaowu Zhou for trafficking in counterfeit goods and conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch for the Eastern District of New York.
The Zhous and Huang, all of Guangdong Province, China, allegedly imported more than 37,000 individual units of counterfeit cosmetic fragrances into the United States. According to the indictment returned yesterday, the counterfeit perfume, believed to have been manufactured in China, bore trademarks belonging to well-known fragrance brands, and were packaged in a manner likely to be confused for genuine fragrances sold under these well-known brands.
Huang and Shaoxiong Zhou were arrested in Las Vegas on March 2, 2011, and have been held in custody since their arrest.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge, up to 10 years in prison on the counterfeit products charge, and fines of up to $2,250,000. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of profits from illicit trafficking in counterfeit goods as well as the seizure of the goods.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being investigated by the New York office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Senior Counsel Jason Gull of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
This indictment is part of a larger department-wide effort led by the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force). Attorney General Eric Holder created the IP Task Force to combat the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes, protect the health and safety of American consumers and safeguard the nation’s economic security against those who seek to profit illegally from American creativity, innovation and hard work. The IP Task Force seeks to strengthen intellectual property rights protection through heightened criminal and civil enforcement, greater coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and increased focus on international enforcement efforts, including reinforcing relationships with key foreign partners and U.S. industry leaders. To learn more about the IP Task Force, go to http://www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce/