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Press Release

Man Caught With Counterfeit Designer Phone Cases Heads to Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

BENTON, Ill. – A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a man from Fairfield to 33 months in prison after he admitted to importing more than 800 counterfeit designer phone cases from Hong Kong to resell in the U.S.

Trevor J. Edwards, 21, pled guilty to two counts of trafficking counterfeit goods. In addition to his prison sentence, he will receive three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $1,367.20 in restitution and $500 in fines.

“In two separate instances, the defendant knowingly attempted to obtain counterfeit goods in order to resell and manipulate consumers in downstate Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Reselling counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime, and offenders face serious consequences.”

"Counterfeit goods traffickers like Edwards are looking to gain a profit but in reality, are committing a crime that results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen and American consumers receiving substandard products,” said Sean Fitzgerald, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago. “HSI enforcement operations into intellectual property theft protect not only the companies who have copyrighted products, but the consumers who believe they are buying legitimate goods.”

In February 2021, Customs and Border Protection seized 500 counterfeit designer cellphone cases when the shipment reached the U.S. border from Hong Kong. According to court documents, Edwards was listed on the box as the recipient. The phone cases were counterfeit Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci and retailed an estimated $212,500. Once intercepted, the government sent a receipt to Edwards to notify him of his illegal activity.

Months later in May 2021, Edwards was pulled over by law enforcement in Washington County and a search of his vehicle found 336 counterfeit designer cell phone cases, $241,000 in cash and 2,909 vape pens and cartridges containing cannabis. The phone cases retailed an estimated $101,340.

Homeland Security Investigations led the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter T. Reed prosecuted the case.

Updated February 16, 2023