SEATTLE — A Kent man who sold more than $500,000 in counterfeit luxury-brand vehicle accessories pleaded guilty Wednesday to trafficking in counterfeit goods.
Guoxiong Xian, 34, faces a recommended sentence of 18 months in prison and more than $495,000 in restitution as a result of an undercover investigation by the Seattle-Tacoma Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST Seattle), led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Court records say Xian, owner of 3 Ways, LLC, had an online business that sold auto parts and accessories such as license plate frames, marque license plates, automobile logos and other decorative items for high-end automobiles. Xian admitted importing the knockoffs from China bearing the trademarks of BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan and others, knowing they were unlicensed fakes. The investigation revealed Xian sold nearly $540,000 worth of counterfeit automobile accessories between November 2008 and April 2013.
Restitution will be paid to 20 car manufacturers whose trademarks Xian violated. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22.
BEST Seattle is comprised of members from HSI; U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations; the U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; the FBI; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Port of Seattle Police Department. BEST Seattle investigates smuggling and related crimes and combats criminal organizations seeking to exploit vulnerabilities at the Seattle and Tacoma seaports and adjacent waterways.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington is prosecuting the case.