News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Plymouth man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit cell phones

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 39-year-old Plymouth man pleaded guilty to selling refurbished and counterfeit cellular telephones on the Internet, claiming they were brand new. Mario Samson pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Samson, who was charged on June 13, 2012, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery.

In his plea agreement, Samson admitted that from May 1, 2010, to July 19, 2011, he intentionally trafficked and attempted to traffic cell phones and cell phone accessories that featured counterfeit marks identical to registered trademarks of multiple electronics companies. He also admitted selling the items through various online retailers, such as eBay and Amazon.com. In addition, Samson admitted using counterfeit marks on the items in order to deceive the buying public. In total, Samson made approximately 10,711 transactions. Those transactions had a combined retail value of between $400,000 and $1 million.

For his crime, Samson faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge Montgomery will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson.

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