25 July 2017Trademarks

Man jailed for smuggling $15m of fake electronics

A man who was part of a group that smuggled counterfeit electronics from China into the US has been jailed for over three years.

The sentencing follows an investigation by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which was assisted by Europol.

Italian national Rosario La Marca had previously pleaded guilty to the trafficking of counterfeit goods and has now been sentenced to 36 months in prison as well as a year’s supervised release.

He worked with three others to smuggle $15 million worth of counterfeit electronic devices and accessories over five years between 2009 and 2014, according to an ICE statement released yesterday, July 24.

ICE stated that the group had shipped the phones and labels separately to avoid detection, before labelling and packaging them with counterfeit logos and distributing them across the US.

Fellow Italian Roberto Volpe, Venezuelan national Andreina Becerra and a Chinese national living in California were originally charged in an eight-count indictment in April 2015 with importing and trafficking fake iPhones, iPads and iPods bearing counterfeit Apple trademarks.

Volpe and Becerra have both pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing, while the Chinese national has denied the charges.

“The charges contained in the indictment against him [the man who denied the charges] are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” the statement concluded.

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