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May 15, 2017Houston, TX, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

California businessman pleads guilty in Houston to trafficking in counterfeit veterinary-product labels and packaging

HOUSTON — A California businessman has admitted to directing the manufacture of counterfeit veterinary-product labels and sending them to Houston.

This guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez, Southern District of Texas. This investigation is being conducted by U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Michael Chihwen Wang, 49, of Buena Park, California, was the vice president of CYU Lithographics Inc., doing business as Choice Lithographics in Buena Park. Between July 2015 and December 2016, Wang directed the manufacture of counterfeit trademarked Frontline, Frontline Plus and Merial veterinary product labels and shipped them to Houston.

Merial, Frontline and Frontline Plus are trademarks registered by Merial — an animal-health company located in Duluth, Georgia, which manufactures and sells pharmaceutical drugs and pesticides for animals.

Wang intentionally caused the manufacture of counterfeit labels and packaging of copyrighted or trademarked items to make the packaging appear legitimate. The counterfeit labels were delivered to a warehouse as part of an undercover investigation. No actual veterinary products were involved in this case.  

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt has set Wang’s sentencing for July 24, at which time he faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a possible $2 million fine. Wang was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Daniel C. Rodriguez, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.