Wednesday, August 7, 2019
On July 23, 2019, the Department of Justice announced Jianhua “Jeff” Li, a Chinese national on a student visa was found guilty after trafficking and smuggling counterfeit Apple products from China to the United States. In a separate and previous court case, Li plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods. In additional, Li received one count for trafficking counterfeit goods in the United States.
According to the immediate press release, Li, worked through his company called Dream Digitals. He is presumed to have conspired with Andreina Becerra, Roberto Volpe, Rosario LaMarca and others to smuggle and traffic more than 40,000 electronic devices and accessories. The electronic devices and accessories ranged from iPads and iPhones. Furthermore, labels and packaging bearing counterfeit Apple trademarks were discovered. This activity transpired from July 2009 to February 2014 according to documents filed in court.
Li shipped the counterfeit devices separately in order to avoid detection from U.S. Custom and Border Protection Officials. Subsequently, the devices were then shipped to accomplices all over the United States. The proceeds were then funneled back to the conspirator’s accounts in Florida and New Jersey. The funds were deposited via structured cash deposits. Then further disguised by having the cash deposits transferred into portions to conspirators in Italy. Over $1.1 million in sales proceeds had been wired from U.S. accounts into accounts Li controlled overseas.
LaMarca, Becerra, and Volpe previously plead guilty to their respective roles in the operation. On July 21, 2017, LaMarca was sentenced to serve 37 months in prison. Ultimately, on October 15, 2019, Becerra and Volpe were sentenced to serve a three-year probation and 22 months in prison, respectively.
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