WASHINGTON – A Chinese perfume importer was sentenced in Brooklyn yesterday to 12 months in prison for trafficking in counterfeit perfume, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch for the Eastern District of New York.
Shaoxiong Zhou, 42, of Shantou, Guangdong, China, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sandra L. Townes in the Eastern District of New York. Judge Townes also ordered Zhou to pay $20,000 in restitution.
Zhou pleaded guilty Aug. 5, 2011, to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Zhou admitted that he offered to supply counterfeit perfume to prospective buyers at a Las Vegas trade show in August 2010. Zhou also admitted that he shipped a cargo container of counterfeit perfume to a facility in Staten Island, N.Y., in January 2011. That shipment, which was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon arrival in the United States, was found to contain approximately 37,000 units of perfume bearing counterfeit marks and made to resemble fragrance products from several well-known brands, including Lacoste, Polo Black and Armani Code.
Zhou and codefendant Shaoxia Huang were arrested March 2, 2011, in Las Vegas and have been in custody since that time. Huang pleaded guilty Aug. 3, 2011, to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, and was sentenced on Dec. 7, 2011, to nine months in prison and was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution.
The case is part of a federal investigation of the importation and distribution of counterfeit perfume and cosmetics products being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Counsel Jason Gull of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The sentence announced today is an example of the type of efforts being undertaken 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 www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce/.