Fugitive linked to Bay Area $100 million counterfeit goods seizure extradited
SAN FRANCISCO – A 47-year-old Chinese national indicted in 2010 for her alleged role in a criminal conspiracy involving the trafficking of counterfeit goods valued at more than $100 million appeared in San Francisco federal court Friday following her extradition from Canada.
Hui Jin Chen was arrested Sept. 2, 2014, in Toronto by officers from the Toronto Police Department’s Fugitive Task Force. Her capture came after special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Assistant Attaché Toronto Office and HSI San Francisco developed information that Chen was living in Canada under an assumed name. At the time of her arrest, Chen possessed four fraudulent Chinese passports, each with a different alias.
Chen was among 11 defendants indicted in 2010 for conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods. At the time, she owned two of the eight retail shops in the Fisherman’s Wharf district targeted in an HSI probe into the alleged sale of counterfeit designer clothing, jewelry and accessories. Chen fled to Canada while on pre-trial release. The criminal case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. Chen appeared Friday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley who ordered the defendant remanded to custody pending a status hearing June 24.
HSI has 67 operational attaché offices in 48 countries around the world. HSI special agents work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies. Additionally, HSI brings personnel from host countries to the United States to train at the Department of Homeland Security Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.