ICE takes down website selling Chinese counterfeit hair appliances for top dollar
PHILADELPHIA — Three Pennsylvanians were charged in a conspiracy Tuesday to import and sell counterfeit luxury hair care appliances. The charges stem from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigation.
Stephen Voudouris, Sr., 59, from Newtown Square, Yung Chung, 31, from West Chester, and Jaimmy Chun, 30, from Philadelphia are charged with conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods and wire fraud. Voudouris, Sr. is also charged with smuggling counterfeit goods into the United States.
Stephen Voudouris, Sr. and Yung Chung were partners and owners of Misikko.com, which is an online hair care appliances retailer selling high-end flat irons and blow dryers that’s headquartered in Newton Square. Misikko.com was not an authorized dealer of the brands it sold. According to the charging documents, in an effort to maximize profits, Voudouris, Sr., Chung and an employee, Chun, sought out Chinese manufacturing companies that they could purchase cheap goods bearing counterfeit trademarks of CHI, T3 and Babyliss. It is further alleged that the defendants then resold the counterfeit goods as authentic and for top dollar to the American public.
As part of the scheme to drive consumers to their website and maximize profits, Misikko.com also allegedly purported to sell "Breast Cancer Awareness" products at the direction of Voudouris, Sr. The Misikko.com website was designed to make consumers believe that breast cancer charities would benefit from the purchase of certain pink products. For some products, Misikko.com represented that $25 from every purchase would benefit a prominent breast cancer foundation. It is alleged, however, that no donations were ever made to a breast cancer charity.
If convicted of all charges, Stephen Voudouris, Sr. faces a potential advisory guideline sentencing range of 33 to 41 months in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, a fine of up to $1 million, and a $400 special assessment; Yung Chung and Jaimmy Chun each face a potential advisory sentencing guideline range of 24 to 30 months in prison, a three-year period of supervised release, a fine of up to $750,000, and a $300 special assessment. Each defendant is also responsible jointly and severally for full restitution of approximately $150,346.
The case was investigated by HSI with the assistance of the Federal Reserve Board Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alicia M. Freind and Mary E. Crawley.
An information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Philadelphia HSI efforts are part of a much broader cross industry and federal consortium to protect American consumers and commerce through the ICE-led Intellectual Property Rights Center (IPR), headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The IPR Center is comprised of 23 partner agencies: 17 agencies and four foreign representatives, including Europol and INTERPOL. It stands at the forefront of the HSI effort to enforce intellectual property rights violations and protect consumers.