Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Rettinghaus
UGG boots were among the counterfeit goods smuggled inside the 211 shipping containers.
By Forum Staff
A Middle Village man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $12,905.67 in restitution for his role in a scheme to import more than 200 shipping containers of counterfeit brand-name apparel from China, federal prosecutors said on Friday.
Su Ming Ling, 50, pleaded guilty in January to one count of fraudulent importation and transportation of goods and one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods.
According to authorities, the 211 shipping containers Ling smuggled into the United States included counterfeit goods, such as Nike shoes, UGG boots and NFL jerseys. As part of the scheme, Ling used aliases to register and create numerous Internet domain names and email addresses that resembled the Internet domain names of real U.S. businesses. Ling also hired U.S. Customs and Border Protection-licensed customs brokers to file entry forms on behalf of the businesses whose identities he had stolen and provided those customs brokers with falsified shipping documents. The counterfeit goods were distributed to locations in Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey, among other areas.
In aggregate, the counterfeit apparel imported by Ling and his co-conspirators between May 2013 and January 2017, if sold in the U.S. as genuine, would have retailed for an estimated $297 million, according to federal officials.
“This defendant smuggled massive amounts of counterfeit goods into the country, harming legitimate businesses and shortchanging consumers who thought they were getting authentic products,” said Brian Michael, Special-Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Newark Division.