Federal agents arrested two Chinese nationals from Covina on Wednesday in connection with an alleged scheme to import and sell counterfeit consumer goods, including Ray-Ban sunglasses and Pandora jewelry, netting more than $2 million, authorities said.
Xiaoying Xu, 34, and Yiwen Zhu, 34, both Chinese citizens living in Covina, are named in a 13-count indictment filed in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland on Tuesday alleging trafficking in counterfeit goods, mail fraud and conspiracy, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a written statement.
“These defendants allegedly imported counterfeit goods from China and sold them as legitimate merchandise using the registered trademarks of legitimate companies,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said. “Those who traffick in counterfeit goods are committing a crime which results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen and American consumers tricked into receiving substandard products.”
The defendants are accused of running the scheme from August of 2016 through this month, according to the indictment. They had counterfeit goods, principally Ray-Ban sunglasses and Pandora jewelry, shipped from Hong Kong and China to their Covina homes, as well as offices in Alhambra and El Monte, prosecutors allege.
“Xu and Zhu allegedly repackaged the counterfeit goods, then mailed them to unsuspecting customers throughout the United States who believed they had purchased authentic goods,” according to the DOJ statement.
If convicted as charged, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 185 years each in federal prison.