Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Su Ming Ling, a resident of Queens, New York, was sentenced by United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon to 30 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay $12,905.67 in restitution for one count of fraudulent importation and transportation of goods and one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. The charges arose out of Ling’s participation in a scheme to import more than 200 shipping containers of counterfeit brand-name apparel from the People’s Republic of China. In aggregate, the counterfeit apparel imported by the defendant and his co-conspirators between May 2013 and January 2017, if sold in the United States as genuine, would have retailed for an estimated $297 million. Ling pleaded guilty to the charge on January 5, 2018.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brian Michael, Special-Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark Division, and Troy Miller, Director, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), New York Field Office, announced the sentence.
“With today’s sentence, Ling has been held responsible for illegally importing millions of dollars’ worth of knockoff goods that displace consumer demand for companies’ genuine products,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office is committed to prosecuting counterfeit traffickers like the defendant whose criminal conduct causes harm to the American economy.”
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is committed to ensuring the integrity of the legitimate trade, travel and financial systems of the United States,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Michael. “This defendant smuggled massive amounts of counterfeit goods into the country, harming legitimate businesses and shortchanging consumers who thought they were getting authentic products. HSI aggressively targets transnational criminal organizations that profit from smuggling counterfeit merchandise, seizing their illicit goods and arresting those responsible.”
“These seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection provided the critical link to an ongoing investigation that resulted in the takedown of an elaborate criminal enterprise,” stated CBP Director Miller. “It is through our interagency partnerships, and collaborative approaches like the one leading to today’s sentence, that law enforcement successfully combats modern criminal organizations.”
The 211 shipping containers Ling smuggled into the United States included counterfeit goods, such as Nike shoes, UGG boots and NFL jerseys. As part of the scheme, Ling used aliases to register and create numerous Internet domain names and email addresses that resembled the Internet domain names of real U.S. businesses. Ling also hired CBP-licensed customs brokers to file customs entry forms on behalf of the businesses whose identities he had stolen and provided those customs brokers with falsified shipping documents. The counterfeit goods were distributed to locations in Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey, among other areas.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Ian C. Richardson and Alexander Mindlin are in charge of the prosecution.
SU MING LING
Middle Village, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-541