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22 charged in half-a-billion-dollar counterfeit bust in NY, NJ: officials say

NEW YORK — Charges were announced Thursday against 22 people busted for allegedly smuggling nearly half a billion dollars in goods through New York and New Jersey.

Trafficked items included fake Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch handbags, Michael Kors wallets, Hermes belts and Chanel perfume, officials said.

The counterfeit luxury brand goods were allegedly smuggled from China through New York and New Jersey ports and distributed. If authentic, the items would have been worth more than $450 million, officials said.

“This investigation exposed the global nature of intellectual property crimes, allegedly being executed by those arrested today. Counterfeit goods manufactured and smuggled from China with a suggested value north of half a billion dollars, were intended to make its way into U.S. markets and into the hands of unsuspecting consumers,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez.

Six indictments and a criminal complaint were unsealed Thursday charging 22 people with a slew of crimes. Among the charges are conspiracy to traffic, and trafficking, in counterfeit goods; conspiracy to smuggle, and smuggling, counterfeit goods into the United States; money laundering conspiracy; immigration fraud and unlawful procurement of naturalization. In addition, the government restrained nine real properties in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York, belonging to the defendants.

The defendants include:

  • Qi Feng Liang, also known as “Alex” and“Mike Sotire”, 34, of  Brooklyn
  • Wo Qi Liu, also known as “Louis,” “Qi,” “Woqi”and “Big Elephant”, 43, of Brooklyn
  • Zhi Ming Zhang, also known as “Jordan” and “FourB”, 43, of Staten Island
  • Josstina Lin, also known as “Tina”, 42, of Brooklyn
  • Xue Weiqu, 51, of Queens
  • Xi Quan Huang, 58, of Queens
  • Yun Lei Huang, 32, of Queens
  • Yun Wu Huang, 34, of Queens
  • Wei Mei Gao, 35, of Queens
  • Sheng Miao Xia, 44, of Queens
  • Si Lung Chung, also known as “Allan”, 42, of New York
  • Le Wei Zheng, 42, of New York
  • Xiao Ying Huang, also known as “Linda”, 53, of Nassau County
  • Qiong Chan Mu, also known as “Rosanna”, 26, of Nassau County
  • Ren Zhong Zhu, 31, of Nassau County
  • Yong Lin Dong, 43, of Queens
  • Cai Ying Lin, 43, of Queens
  • Cheng Xu Yu, also known as “Vic,” 29, of Queens
  • Jian Hua Zhu, 52, of Queens
  • Jin Hua Zhang, 55, of Queens
  • Jie Mei Chen, also known as “Jenny," 33, of Queens
  • Yu Ming Wong, 36, of Queens