Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Federal Mail Fraud and Conspiracy Charges for Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods
Conspired to Import, Smuggle, and Sell Over $2 Million in Counterfeit Pandora Jewelry, Ray-Ban Sunglasses, and other Consumer Goods
Baltimore, Maryland –Xiaoying Xu, age 34, a Chinese citizen residing in Covina, California, pleaded guilty today to on a federal conspiracy and mail fraud charges related to her trafficking in counterfeit goods.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Postal Inspector in Charge Peter R. Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; and Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Baltimore Field Office.
“Xu sold counterfeit products, representing them to unsuspecting customers as legitimate merchandise bearing the registered trademarks of legitimate companies.” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “The sale of counterfeit goods not only defrauds consumers and legitimate companies, but results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen, and American consumers tricked into receiving substandard products.”
According to her plea agreement, from about August 2016 until approximately April 2019, Xu conspired with others to defraud e-commerce customers by importing and selling counterfeit consumer goods, specifically Pandora jewelry and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Xu used her residence and offices in El Monte and Alhambra, California, as destination points for shipments of counterfeit goods shipped from Hong Kong and China. Xu repackaged the counterfeit goods, then mailed them to unsuspecting customers throughout the United States who believed they had purchased authentic goods.
Xu and other members of the conspiracy obtained funds from the victims of the counterfeit scheme through fraudulently acquired customer accounts opened in the names of other people at a global online payment company. The online payment company sent the victims’ money to Xu by electronic transfer to bank accounts or by check, which Xu cashed at ATMs or deposited into bank accounts opened by co-conspirators.
Xu admits that as a result of her fraudulent conduct, as well as her knowledge of the fraudulent conduct of her co-conspirators, members of the conspiracy sold $2,322,845 worth of counterfeit Pandora and Ray-Ban-branded products to unsuspecting customers, causing a loss to the customers of at least that amount.
Xu faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and a maximum of 20 years in prison for mail fraud. Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for March 12, 2020.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI, HSI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in Maryland and in Los Angeles, California; Seattle, Washington; and Tampa, Florida for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter J. Martinez and Martin J. Clarke, who are prosecuting the case.
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