Five people in New York have been charged with trafficking in connection with a shoe counterfeit scheme.
According to the NYPD and Homeland Security Investigations, the suspects sold fake Nike Air Jordans sneakers that would have been worth $73 million, if they were real. While the counterfeit shoes did look real, they did not possess the trademarked logos.
Over the last eight months, investigators inspected nearly 27,000 pairs of sneakers before Miyuki Suen, Jian Min Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen and Fangrang Qu were charged with counterfeit trafficking conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods, reported ABC News.
“These five individuals are alleged to have been a part of a large scale counterfeiting scheme, importing nearly a half million pairs of knock-off Nike sneakers. These counterfeiting networks can be both detrimental to our economy and threaten our national security, and HSI will continue to take every measure in investigating and dismantling these organizations,” ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez told ABC.
The fake shoes were shipped to Port of Newark from China. After they arrived, they were taken to locations in Brooklyn and Queens where the phony logos were added and the shoes were sold.
This particular counterfeiting ring has shipped over 42 containers full of the fake Jordans during the last two years. They sold the shoes for $190 per pair.
Each defendant faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.
“The five defendants in this case allegedly counterfeited over $70 million in fake Nike shoes and sold them to buyers on the U.S. market. I commend our law enforcement partners for helping to bring today’s charges, which send a clear message to would-be counterfeiters: ‘Just don’t do it,'” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman told ABC News.