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Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
10/28/2016

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New York pair charged with trafficking of counterfeit goods

NEW YORK — A married couple was arrested Thursday in Queens, New York, for conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods.  The arrest follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) in New York, in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Daye Dong, 49, and Hongyu Chen, 48, are charged with importing counterfeit goods from China into the United States with the intent to distribute and sell the counterfeit products to retailers in New York City and elsewhere. 

“People wrongly assume intellectual property theft is a victimless crime,” said HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez. “The reality is, individuals like those charged today are robbing from law abiding merchants and from the legitimate companies that manufacture these items.  Brand-name knockoffs are not a harmless way to beat the system.”

“These defendants allegedly sold counterfeit goods, fueling consumers’ desire for low prices on high end products.  But the cheap prices come at a high price for legitimate businesses,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of  New York.  “Protection of intellectual property remains an important priority for my office and for our partners at CBP, ICE, and the NYPD.”  

As stated in the complaint, from March 2012 to October 2016, Dong and Chen imported counterfeit luxury and designer brand goods into the United States from China.  The couple stored the imported counterfeit goods in two warehouses with the intent to transfer the goods to retailers in New York City, including a Manhattan retail store operated by Chen, and elsewhere.  After a search was conducted of the pair’s residence, warehouses, and retail store, authorities found more than 30,000 pieces of counterfeit goods, including handbags and wallets, for various luxury and designer brands.  HSI is still reviewing the evidence collected in this case.

This case is being prosecuted by the SDNY’s General Crimes Unit.  The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/28/2016