Chinese man makes $1.1 million by selling fake iPhones
Chinese national Jianhua Li has admitted to have sold fake iPhones and iPads to customers in the United States as part of a bigger counterfeiting operation.
The 43-year-old man, who was living in the US on a student visa, has made $1.1 million from looting customers who thought they were procuring legitimate Apple products.
Here's more on the scam.
He smuggled 40,000 Apple products in five years
Started in 2009, the counterfeiting operation was nabbed in 2014, during which period Li helped smuggle over 40,000 fake Apple products from China into the US.
He was accompanied by conspirators Andreina Becerra, Roberto Volpe, and Rosario LaMarca who were all working through a fake company called Dream Digitals.
The case was prosecuted by the US Justice Department.
The US Justice Department convicted Li
"Jianhua 'Jeff' Li, pleaded guilty before US District Court Judge Kevin McNulty of New Jersey to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and labels and to smuggle goods into the US, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods," official statement read.
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Accused shipped counterfeit devices and Apple labels separately
The group was able to hide their source of revenue by using carefully crafted money deposits and transfers, according to the Justice Department.
They also circumvented Border Protection officials and the US Customs department by shipping devices and the labels bearing counterfeit trademarks separately, which were later assembled together, the Justice Department said.
Li will be sentenced on May 30
Li was first taken into custody in 2015 but has only pleaded guilty now. He will be sentenced on May 30. Fellow conspirator LaMarca was sentenced in July 2017 with a 37-month prison term. The remaining two conspirators Becerra and Volpe are still awaiting sentencing.