News and Press Releases

Zhi Xian Zhou, 48, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to 26 months in prison following Zhou’s conviction for trafficking in merchandise bearing counterfeit trademarks, logos and labels

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2012

Mike Tobin, Public Affairs Specialist, (216) 622-3651

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that U.S. District Judge Christopher A. Boyko sentenced Zhi Xian Zhou, 48, of Bronx, New York, to 26 months in prison following Zhou’s conviction for trafficking in merchandise bearing counterfeit trademarks, logos and labels.

Zhou, a Chinese national in the United States illegally, will be deported following his term of imprisonment pursuant to a standing order of deportation previously issued. The Court also entered an order authorizing the government to destroy the counterfeit merchandise seized from Zhou

According to court records, Zhou was arrested by Beaver Township, Ohio, Police on July 18, 2011, for traffic violations and was found to not possess a valid driver’s license. Police then obtained a search warrant for Zhou’s vehicle and discovered over 2,800 items bearing counterfeit trademarks, logos and labels. If genuine, the retail value of the merchandise seized from Zhou was more than $525,000.

On August 17, 2011, a federal criminal complaint was filed charging Zhou in U.S. District Court, and on September 14, 2011 a federal grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio, returned a one-count indictment charging Zhou, with Trafficking in Counterfeit Merchandise, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2320(a). Zhou pleaded guilty to the charge in the indictment on November 14, 2011.

The indictment charged that on or about July 18, 2011, Zhou intentionally trafficked and attempted to traffic over 2,800 items, including 302 designer handbags, 161 designer wallets, 16 designer scarves, 760 pairs of designer sunglasses, 132 designer watches, 45 designer key chains, 25 designer lighters, 1,147 designer bracelets, earrings and other jewelry and 1 designer sports cap, each of which contained counterfeit marks, logos, labels and hangtags. The marks on the merchandise were identical to and substantially indistinguishable from marks used on genuine merchandise, and were in use and registered for such goods on the principle register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Also, the indictment charged that the use of such counterfeit marks was likely to cause confusion, mistake or to deceive.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern, Coordinator of the Cybercrimes and Intellectual Property Crimes unit of the Cleveland U.S. Attorney’s Office, following an investigation by the Cleveland Office of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.

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