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Intellectual Property Rights

Southern California man sentenced to more than 2 years in prison for importing counterfeit exercise equipment

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles man was sentenced Monday to 30 months in federal prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that revealed he illegally imported thousands of bogus, Chinese-made Ab Circle Pro machines into the United States.

Sok Hun Jin, who also uses the name "Eric Jin," 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson. In addition to the prison term, Judge Anderson ordered Jin to pay a $6,000 fine and $60,000 in restitution to the manufacturer of legitimate Ab Circle Pro machines.

When Jin pleaded guilty earlier this year, he admitted he was responsible for illegally bringing more than 2,300 bogus Ab Circle Pro machines - as well as DVDs, manuals and stickers for the product - into the United States. The counterfeit equipment, worth approximately $250,000, was made in the People's Republic of China and came to the United States in four separate containers in 2010. Jin also arranged for separate packages with fake instructional DVDs, manuals, and stickers to be shipped from China into the United States.

At Jin's sentencing, Judge Anderson noted the criminal conduct occurred over an extended period of time and that the prison term should "offer a measure of deterrence to others."

ICE HSI received substantial assistance with the case from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In 2010, in a separate case, a Chino, Calif., woman was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for importing counterfeit exercise equipment - including counterfeit Ab Circle Pro machines - and bribing a government official).