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January 13, 2016Boston, MA, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

Massachusetts store owner and brother charged with selling counterfeit iPhone parts

BOSTON — Two eastern Massachusetts men were charged in federal court Wednesday with trafficking in counterfeit iPhone components. 

These charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Micky Punjabi, 36, and his brother Hitesh Punjabi, 33, both of Peabody, Massachusetts, were charged with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, specifically iPhone components that bore Apple trademarks but were not genuine Apple products.  Micky Punjabi, who owned the store, was also charged with trafficking in the counterfeit Apple components. 

According to court documents, from approximately December 2010 to February 2015, the Punjabis sold counterfeit Apple merchandise at Accessory Unlimited.  Micky Punjabi also repaired genuine iPhones using counterfeit components allegedly purchased from sources outside the United States and from a supplier within the United States.  Micky Punjabi knew that the goods he was selling were counterfeit, but sold and attempted to sell thousands of pieces of counterfeit merchandise.      

The charge of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  The charge of trafficking in counterfeit goods carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $2 million.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The details contained in the Information are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.