Saugus Store Owner and Brother Sentenced for Trafficking in Counterfeit iPhone Components
BOSTON – Two Peabody men were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for trafficking in counterfeit iPhone components at Accessory Depot, a store in Square One Mall in Saugus.
Mickey Punjabi, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to six months of home incarceration, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of $7,500. His brother, Hitesh Punjabi, 33, was sentenced by Judge Casper to three months of home confinement, two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a fine of $7,500. Both men were jointly ordered to pay restitution of $114,751 and forfeit assets seized from their home, which includes over $200,000 in cash and cash equivalents. In January 2016, the men were charged with conspiring to traffick in counterfeit goods, specifically iPhone components that bore Apple trademarks but were not genuine Apple products. Micky Punjabi, who owned the store, was also charged with trafficking in the counterfeit Apple components.
From December 2010 to February 2015, the Punjabis sold counterfeit Apple merchandise at Accessory Depot. Micky Punjabi also repaired genuine iPhones using counterfeit components purchased from sources outside the United States and from a supplier within the United States. Micky Punjabi knew that the goods he was selling were counterfeit, but sold and attempted to sell thousands of pieces of counterfeit merchandise.
At today’s sentencing, Judge Casper stated, “This is a serious crime…[T]here is harm not just to companies involved in terms of their reputation and the integrity of their products but also to the members of the public who bought those products.”
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.