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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

5 Charged In National Counterfeit Perfume Ring

The Counterfeit Trademarked Perfumes Were Sold in New York and at Least Six Other States

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel Melendez, Special Agent in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation in New York (“HSI”), Robert E. Perez, Director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection New York Field Office (“CBP”), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that PATRICK BADAL, KAIUM SHAH, KENNY NI, ABUL KASHEM, and PARVEZ SHAZZED were arrested today for participating in a scheme to distribute counterfeit name brand perfumes in New York and around the United States.  The defendants were presented this afternoon in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. 

According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

From December 2014 to May 2016, the defendants and others (collectively, the “Counterfeit Perfume Ring”) imported generic liquid fragrances from China, separately imported boxes and packaging bearing counterfeit trademarks from China, packaged the generic liquid fragrances into the branded and trademarked packaging, and then sold counterfeit perfumes to wholesalers in New York and at least six other states, including out of a store located in or around Lafayette Street in New York City.

Based on physical surveillance conducted by NYPD and HSI, the Counterfeit Perfume Ring used seven primary locations to receive, prepare, and distribute its products:

The Port. Inbound shipping containers arrived at the Port of Newark and were transported to a bonded warehouse in Elizabeth, New Jersey, (the “Port”) regulated by CBP.

The Temporary Warehouse. Once shipping containers had been released by CBP, members of the Counterfeit Perfume Ring arranged for the containers to be moved from the Port to a temporary warehouse located in Elizabeth, New Jersey (the “Temporary Warehouse”).  The Temporary Warehouse was operated by a trucking company (the “Trucking Company”).

Packaging Facilities. From the Temporary Warehouse, the Trucking Company typically delivered the containers to premises in Queens, New York, for packaging (the “Packaging Facilities”). 

The Storage Facility. The Counterfeit Perfume Ring then transferred the goods from the Packaging Facilities to a self-storage facility located in Queens, New York (the “Storage Facility”).

The Freight Forwarder. The Counterfeit Perfume Ring distributed certain of its goods to wholesalers located outside the New York City area.  To accomplish this, the Counterfeit Perfume Ring used a freight forwarding service (the “Freight Forwarder”) to pick up pallets of goods from the Storage Facility.  The Freight Forwarder, in turn, delivered parcels to out-of-state addresses.  In addition to distributing its products out-of-state, the Counterfeit Perfume Ring distributed its products throughout New York City.  SHAZZED operated one of these locations, a store located in or around Lafayette Street in New York City.

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BADAL, SHAH, NI, KASHEM, and SHAZZED are each charged with one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.  BADAL, SHAH, NI, and KASHEM are also each charged with one count of trafficking in counterfeit packaging, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.  BADAL and SHAH are also charged with smuggling goods into the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding work of HSI, CBP, and NYPD for their investigative efforts and ongoing support and assistance with the case.

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew M. Thomas and Michael C. McGinnis are in charge of the case.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1]   As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
Intellectual Property
Press Release Number: 
16-138
Updated May 25, 2016