Leader Of Largest Counterfeit Goods Conspiracy Ever Charged Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison
NEWARK, N.J. – One of the leaders of a massive, international counterfeit goods conspiracy was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for his role in the scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Hai Dong Jiang, a/k/a “Jimmy,” a/k/a “Dong,” 37, of Staten Island, N.Y., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in Court:
From November 2009 through February 2012, Dong Jiang and his co-defendants ran one of the largest counterfeit goods smuggling and distribution conspiracies ever charged by the Department of Justice. The defendants and others conspired to import hundreds of containers of counterfeit goods – primarily handbags, and footwear, and perfume – from China into the United States in furtherance of the conspiracy. These goods, if legitimate, would have had a retail value of more than $300 million.
The counterfeit goods were manufactured in China and smuggled into the United States through containers fraudulently associated with legitimate importers, with false and fraudulent shipping paperwork playing a critical role in the smuggling scheme. Some of the conspirators created and managed the flow of false shipping paperwork between China and the United States, and supervised the importation of counterfeit goods, and others controlled the importation of the counterfeit goods into the United States.
Other conspirators managed the distribution of counterfeit goods once those goods arrived in the United States. After importation, the counterfeit goods were delivered to warehouses, and distributed throughout New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere. Certain conspirators paid large amounts of cash to undercover law enforcement officers to assist in the removal of counterfeit goods from the port.
Some conspirators acted as wholesalers for the counterfeit goods, supplying retailers who sold counterfeit goods to customers in the United States. Other conspirators were money structurers, who arranged for cash to be wired to China in amounts small enough to avoid applicable financial reporting requirements, to evade detection of the smuggling scheme and related proceeds.
Law enforcement introduced several undercover special agents (collectively, the UCs) to the conspirators. The UCs purported to have unspecified “connections” at the port, which allowed the UCs to release containers that were on hold and pass them through to the conspirators. The conspirators paid the UCs for these “services.” In total, during the course of this investigation, the conspirators provided the UCs more than $2 million.
UCs recorded dozens of phone calls and in-person meetings with various conspirators. The investigation also utilized several court-authorized wiretaps of telephones and electronic communications.
Dong Jiang served as one of the directors of the smuggling scheme. Dong Jiang ordered counterfeit merchandise from China; negotiated shipments of counterfeit goods from China; arranged for payment for that merchandise and supervised the distribution of that merchandise in and around the New York/New Jersey area.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Dong Jiang to two years of supervised release ordered forfeiture of cash and property as described in the plea agreement (attached).
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, for the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Pak and Zach Intrater of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property section of the Economic Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark and Nicholas Grippo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Joseph Conway Esq., Mineola, N.Y.