Orlando Man Sentenced To Prison For Trafficking In Counterfeit Headphones, Cellphone Cases, Perfume, And Fashion Accessories
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Nadim Afif El-Kareh (56, Orlando) to one year and one day in federal prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods. The Court also imposed a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $264,408.80, which constitutes the proceeds of the offense, and restitution of $376.57 to Gucci, for the costs of its involvement in the investigation. El-Kareh pleaded guilty on February 23, 2017.
According to court documents, from 2013 through at least 2016, El-Kareh sold counterfeit cellphone accessories, perfume, jewelry, and electronic goods out of rented storage units and at the Webster Flea Market. In April 2016, federal agents seized approximately 10,950 counterfeit items with an estimated domestic value of approximately $224,510 from El-Kareh’s storage units. These counterfeit goods bore false labels from companies such as Beats by Dr. Dre, Otter Box, Gucci, and Michael Kors. El-Kareh imported many of these items from China and purchased others from counterfeit goods traffickers in New York City. Agents determined that from in or approximately January 2015 through April 2016, El-Kareh earned at least $264,000 from his illegal sales.
“Criminals who sell counterfeit goods siphon trade away from legitimate businesses that create jobs and support our local economy," said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “This crime harms all of us in the long run."
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Megan K. Kistler.