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Intellectual Property Rights

LA man pleads guilty to trafficking in counterfeit exercise equipment

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles man pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking in counterfeit goods for bringing hundreds of bogus, Chinese-made Ab Circle Pro machines and related items into the United States.

Sok Hun Jin, who also uses the name "Eric Jin," 36, pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods. The charges stem from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In a plea agreement filed in federal court, Jin admitted he was responsible for illegally bringing more than 2,000 bogus Ab Circle Pro machines into the United States. The counterfeit equipment was made in the People's Republic of China and came to the United States in four containers last year. The retail value of the counterfeit goods is estimated to be approximately $650,000. Separate packages with fake DVDs, manuals and stickers were also shipped from China into the United States.

Jin's sentencing is set for September 12. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and up to $2 million in fines.

Last year, in a separate case, a Chino woman received a 41-month prison sentence in federal court in Los Angeles for importing counterfeit exercise gear. In another case in court Monday involving counterfeit items manufactured in China, the owners of a Los Angeles jewelry story were sentenced to prison for illegally importing and selling counterfeit designer jewelry, some of which tested positive for hazardous levels of lead.