On Tuesday, five people were charged in connection to an eight-month counterfeit trafficking probe over the alleged sale of more than $70 million in fake shoes.
According to ABC News, Miyuki Suen, Jian Min Huang, Songua Qu, Kin Lui Chen and Fangrang Qu were slapped with charges of counterfeit trafficking conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods for selling fake, look-alike Jordans, as the real deal.
As part of the longstanding scheme, the sneaker traffickers used the Port of Newark as a pick-up, drop-off location for the fake kicks. Investigators say the group would pick up the generic, no name brand sneakers at the Port from China, transport them to different locations in New York to add the fraudulent logo and then distribute the fake shoes for sale.
Since 2016, the group has managed to ship out 42 containers, and almost 400,000 pairs of the no-name brand sneakers, which would normally sell for $190 per pair, if authentic.
However, after an eight-month long investigation, officials inspected nearly 27,000 pairs of fake kicks, which lead to the arrest of the five involved.
“These five defendants in this case allegedly counterfeited over $70 million [$73 million, to be exact] 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 Berman said.
Each member of the counterfeit ring is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison.