Defendants in Counterfeit Goods Organization Sentenced
Hassan Aoun, 43, of Dearborn was sentenced yesterday to 36 months in federal prison and 2 years of supervised release by the Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds, based upon his April 2012 conviction by a jury for Conspiracy to Traffic in Counterfeit Goods, and three counts of Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods.
U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade made the announcement today, joined by Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley, III, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and by Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
In addition to Hassan Aoun, six other members of the Aoun Organization pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Traffic in Counterfeit Goods, and they have been sentenced as follows:
• NITHAL AOUN, 35, of Dearborn: sentenced to serve 2 years in custody, 2 years of supervised release, and a $2,000 fine;
• MOHAMAD AOUN, 26, of Dearborn: sentenced to serve 2 years in custody, 2 years of supervised release, a fine, and forfeiture of $26,384 in cash;
• WISSAM AOUN, 40, of Dearborn: sentenced to serve 2 years in custody, to pay a $2,000 fine, and forfeiture of $35,000 in cash, a 2006 Bentley Continental automobile and a 2002 Toyota Sequoia;
• GHASSAN AOUN, 47, of Dearborn: sentenced to serve 2 years of probation;
• JOHN TAYLOR, 48, of Detroit: sentenced to serve 2 years of probation, the first 6 months in a Residential Re-entry Center; and
• CARLOS EVANS, 43, of Dearborn: sentenced to serve 2 years of probation, the first 6 months in a Residential Re-entry Center.
The evidence presented at trial established that between 2004 and 2010, the Aoun Organization imported counterfeit goods that they sold as luxury name brand products, including Nike, Gucci and Timberland shoes; Coach, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton purses; and clothing lines from brands such as Diesel Jeans, Burberry, Lacoste, Coogi, and professional sports teams. They transported the goods from New York and sold them at their retail stores in the Detroit area, including Off Da Hook, Da Hook Up, Da Jump Off, Boom Boom Wear, Fresh Gear, Hot Wear, and Kings and Queens.
In addition to their custodial sentences, the defendants have forfeited a 2006 Bentley Continental automobile, a 2002 Toyota Sequoia, and $61,384 in currency, that were either the proceeds of the scheme or used in furtherance of the scheme, as well as over 1,000 shipping boxes filled with counterfeit merchandise.
United States Attorney Barbara McQuade stated, “Intellectual property crimes are not victimless crimes. They harm local businesses that play by the rules. "
Individuals who believe an intellectual property crime may be occurring are encouraged to visit cybercrime.gov, fbi.gov, or iprcenter.gov, to report suspicious conduct.
The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cynthia Oberg and Julie A. Beck.