Two Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Conspiring To Traffic In Counterfeit Goods
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge of New York, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations New York, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced charges today against two individuals for conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods. DAYE DONG and HONGYU CHEN are charged with importing counterfeit goods from China into the United States with the intent to distribute and sell the counterfeit products to retailers in New York City and elsewhere. The defendants were arrested today and will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox later this afternoon.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “These defendants allegedly sold counterfeit goods, fueling consumers’ desire for low prices on high end products. But the cheap prices come at a high price for legitimate businesses. Protection of intellectual property remains an important priority for my office and for our partners at CBP, ICE, and the NYPD.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez said: “People wrongly assume intellectual property theft is a victimless crime. The reality is, individuals like those charged today are allegedly robbing from law abiding merchants and from the legitimate companies that manufacture these items. Brand-name knockoffs are not a harmless way to beat the system.”
CBP Director Robert E. Perez said: “U. S. Customs and Border Protection is proud of the expertise we provide in support of investigations that result in the takedown of criminal enterprises. It is through interagency partnerships and collaborative efforts, like the one leading to today's arrests, that law enforcement successfully combats today's criminal organizations.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “This sale of conterfeit merchandise is a scheme that is old as crime itself. Today’s arrests led by Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement ensures consumers have confidence in the products they purchase.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint:
From March 2012 to October 2016, DONG and CHEN, who are married, imported counterfeit luxury and designer brand goods into the United States from China. DONG and CHEN stored the imported counterfeit goods in two warehouses with the intent to transfer the goods to retailers in New York City, including a Manhattan retail store operated by CHEN, and elsewhere. On October 27, 2016, federal and New York City law enforcement officers conducted a search of DONG and CHEN’s residence, warehouses, and retail store, and found more than 30,000 pieces of counterfeit goods, including handbags and wallets, for various luxury and designer brands.
DONG, 49, and CHEN, 48, of Bayside, New York, are both charged with one count of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Each count 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 investigative work of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. He also thanked the New York Police Department for its assistance.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan E. Rebold 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.
 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.