Vancouver Washington Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking in Counterfeit Vehicle Airbags
Counterfeit Airbags Pose Significant Safety Risk
A 25 year-old Vancouver, Washington man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to conspiracy to traffick in counterfeit goods, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. VITALIY YAREMKIV, was arrested April 2, 2013 after being indicted by a grand jury in Seattle. In his plea agreement YAREMKIV admits that between June 2011 and June 2012, he sold more than 900 counterfeit vehicle airbags he had purchased from a source in China. Under the terms of the plea agreement both sides will recommend a sentence of ten months in prison, but U.S. District Ronald B. Leighton is free to impose any sentence up to the ten year maximum allowed by law. Sentencing is scheduled for August 23, 2013.
According to the statement of facts in the plea agreement, YAREMKIV operated a business, Vital Auto Parts and Sales, out of his Vancouver home. He allegedly imported counterfeit Honda, Subaru and Toyota airbags from sources in China and elsewhere, and sold them over the internet representing them as the genuine product. YAREMKIV sold at least 964 of the counterfeit airbags via eBay with a sales total of $137,243. YAREMKIV sold individual Honda airbags for an asking price of $110. Investigators believe that many of the airbags are sold to independent garages who install them in vehicles believing they have purchased a genuine airbag. YAREMKIV has agreed to pay restitution of $137,243 to Honda Motors Corporation and Toyota Motors Corporation.
Information for consumers regarding counterfeit airbags is available here: http://www.safercar.gov/.
The case was investigated by the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa.