New York - Five Queens residents were charged Tuesday pursuant to an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York’s Border Enforcement Task Force (BEST). This investigation, worked by HSI special agents and taskforce members from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) resulted in the arrest of five individuals conspiring to traffic in more than $70 million worth of counterfeit Nike Air Jordans. Miyuki Suen, Jian Min Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen, and Fangrang Qu are charged with importing hundreds-of-thousands of athletic shoes from China into the United States.
Once those shoes arrived, the defendants and other co-conspirators affixed counterfeit Nike-trademarked logos to those shoes in New York, and sold the now-counterfeit Air Jordans in the United States.
“These five individuals are alleged to have been a part of a large scale counterfeiting scheme, importing nearly a half million pairs of knock-off Nike sneakers,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge for HSI New York. “These counterfeiting networks can be both detrimental to our economy and threaten our national security, and HSI will continue to take every measure in investigating and dismantling these organizations.”
“The five defendants in this case allegedly counterfeited over $70 million 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,’” said Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York,
As alleged in the complaint, from at least in or about January 2016 up to and including in or about July 2018, Suen, Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen, and Fangrang Qu, imported at least 42 shipping containers holding an estimated more than 380,000 pairs of sneakers from China. These sneakers were manufactured to resemble Nike Air Jordans. Once these shoes arrived, Suen, Huang, Songhua Qu, Chen, and Fangrang Qu, added trademarked logos to the shoes, rendering them counterfeit. Suen, Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen, and Fangrang Qu then stored the counterfeit Nike Air Jordans in multiple storage units and warehouses in New York City and elsewhere.
On August 7, 2018, pursuant to court-authorized search warrants, federal law enforcement agents conducted searches of a warehouse, storage units, and a residence related to this scheme, and found thousands of counterfeit shoes, counterfeit trademarks, and machinery to finish counterfeit shoes. The estimated loss attributable to the defendants’ efforts amounts to more than $70 million.
Suen, 43, Huang, 42, and Chen, 53, of New York, New York and Songhua Qu, 54, and Fangrang Qu, 31, of Hicksville, New York, are each charged with one count of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Each defendant faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.
The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. This case is being handled by the SDNY’s General Crimes Unit. The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.