5 Defendants Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Multimillion-Dollar Counterfeiting Scheme
Co-Conspirators Imported, Manufactured, and Distributed Counterfeit Nike Air Jordans, Resulting in Estimated Loss of More Than $70 Million
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”), Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Policy Department (“NYPD”), announced charges today against five individuals for conspiring to traffic in more than $70 million worth of counterfeit Nike Air Jordans. Defendants MIYUKI SUEN, JIAN MIN HUANG, SONGHUA QU, KIN LUI CHEN, and FANGRANG QU are charged with importing hundreds of thousands of athletic shoes from China into the United States. Once those shoes arrived, the defendants and other co-conspirators affixed counterfeit Nike-trademarked logos to those shoes in New York, and sold the now-counterfeit Air Jordans in the United States. All five defendants were arrested this morning and will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Katharine H. Parker today.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “The five defendants in this case allegedly counterfeited over $70 million in fake Nike shoes and sold them to buyers on the U.S. market. I commend our law enforcement partners for helping to bring today’s charges, which send a clear message to would-be counterfeiters: ‘Just don’t do it.’”
ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez said: “These five individuals are alleged to have been a part of a large scale counterfeiting scheme, importing nearly a half million pairs of knock-off Nike sneakers. These counterfeiting networks can be both detrimental to our economy and threaten our national security, and HSI will continue to take every measure in investigating and dismantling these organizations.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint:
From at least in or about January 2016 up to and including in or about July 2018, SUEN, HUANG, SONGHUA QU, KIN LUI CHEN, and FANGRANG QU, the defendants, imported at least 42 shipping containers holding an estimated more than 380,000 pairs of sneakers from China. These sneakers were manufactured to resemble Nike Air Jordans. Once these shoes arrived, the defendants added trademarked logos to the shoes, rendering them counterfeit. The defendants then stored the counterfeit Nike Air Jordans in multiple storage units and warehouses in New York City and elsewhere.
On August 7, 2018, pursuant to court-authorized search warrants, federal law enforcement agents conducted searches of a warehouse, storage units, and a residence related to this scheme, and found thousands of counterfeit shoes, counterfeit trademarks, and machinery to finish counterfeit shoes. The estimated loss attributable to the defendants’ efforts amounts to more than $70 million.
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SUEN, 43, HUANG, 42, and CHEN, 53, of New York, New York, and SONGHUA QU, 54, and FANGRANG QU, 31, of Hicksville, New York, are each charged with one count of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Each defendant faces a maximum potential 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. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the HSI and the NYPD. He also thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for its assistance.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel G. Nessim is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.