Three Indicted and Arrested in One of the Largest Counterfeit Goods Prosecutions in U.S. History

Infringed Goods Valued at More Than $100 Million







17 Jan, 2008, 00:00 ET from U.S. Department of Justice

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Assistant Attorney
 General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and United States Attorney
 for the Eastern District of Virginia Chuck Rosenberg announced today that a
 federal court in Richmond unsealed an indictment of three defendants
 involved in one of the largest ever counterfeit luxury goods operations in
 the United States. All three defendants were arrested by U.S. Immigration
 and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Arraignments will be held in Richmond
 on a date to be scheduled.
 
 
 
     On Oct. 2, 2007, a federal grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, returned a
 seven-count indictment charging Chong Lam, 49, Siu Yung Chan, a.k.a. Joyce
 Chan, 39, and Eric Yuen, 39, all of New York with one count of conspiracy
 to traffic in counterfeit goods imported from the People's Republic of
 China (PRC), four counts of trafficking in counterfeit handbags, wallets,
 purses, and carry-on bags, and two counts of illegally smuggling
 counterfeit goods into the United States. The defendants each face 55 years
 in federal prison and $8.75 million in fines if convicted on all charges.
 
 
 
     On Jan. 16, 2008, the indictment was unsealed and ICE agents arrested
 defendants Lam and Chan and searched their clothing store on West 30th
 Street in New York City. On that date, ICE agents also executed a court
 order restraining defendants' numerous assets, including 29 bank accounts
 and three properties in New York. ICE agents arrested defendant Yuen today
 in Las Vegas.
 
 
 
     "This was a sophisticated criminal conspiracy that trafficked millions
 of dollars of counterfeit goods from China, profiting off the backs of
 legitimate companies and their hard-working employees," said Assistant
 Attorney General Alice Fisher. "The Department of Justice is committed to
 continuing to aggressively prosecute intellectual property crimes that
 transcend our borders, harm our economy and victimize American companies
 and workers."
 
 
 
     "These criminal organizations cost legitimate businesses billions in
 lost revenue and they compromise the economic well-being of the United
 States," said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for
 ICE. "ICE is committed to working with our partners at the federal, state
 and local level to shut them down."
 
 
 
     According to the indictment, Lam, Chan, Yuen, and their fellow
 conspirators operated a massive international import and wholesale
 counterfeit goods business. From 2002 until Oct. 31, 2005, U.S. Customs and
 Border Protection (CBP) seized numerous containers of counterfeit luxury
 handbags and wallets imported from China. A subsequent ICE investigation,
 including a review of documents filed with CBP, disclosed that Lam, Chan,
 and Yuen engaged in a corporate shell game whereby they conspired to, and
 in fact imported, over 300,000 counterfeit luxury handbags and wallets into
 the United States from the PRC in the names of different companies, all
 under their control. The value of the corresponding authentic luxury goods
 manufactured by Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, and others, whose
 legitimate sales were displaced, is estimated to be over $100 million.
 
 
 
     The indictment alleges that the defendants sold or attempted to sell
 these counterfeit goods in the United States and elsewhere at prices
 significantly lower than those charged by the holders of the trademarks in
 question. Using very conservative sales prices for the infringing
 counterfeit items, investigators estimate that the defendants received $16
 million in illicit proceeds, which the defendants then transferred to bank
 accounts in the United States and overseas in the names of companies under
 their control, as well as using the proceeds to purchase at least three
 properties in New York. The United States has restrained, and seeks to
 forfeit, the contents of these bank accounts and the three properties.
 
 
 
     The investigation of the cases and the arrests were conducted by U.S.
 Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian R. Hood
 of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney John H. Zacharia of
 the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section
 are prosecuting the cases on behalf of the United States.
 
 
 
     All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Assistant Attorney
 General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and United States Attorney
 for the Eastern District of Virginia Chuck Rosenberg announced today that a
 federal court in Richmond unsealed an indictment of three defendants
 involved in one of the largest ever counterfeit luxury goods operations in
 the United States. All three defendants were arrested by U.S. Immigration
 and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Arraignments will be held in Richmond
 on a date to be scheduled.
 
 
 
     On Oct. 2, 2007, a federal grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, returned a
 seven-count indictment charging Chong Lam, 49, Siu Yung Chan, a.k.a. Joyce
 Chan, 39, and Eric Yuen, 39, all of New York with one count of conspiracy
 to traffic in counterfeit goods imported from the People's Republic of
 China (PRC), four counts of trafficking in counterfeit handbags, wallets,
 purses, and carry-on bags, and two counts of illegally smuggling
 counterfeit goods into the United States. The defendants each face 55 years
 in federal prison and $8.75 million in fines if convicted on all charges.
 
 
 
     On Jan. 16, 2008, the indictment was unsealed and ICE agents arrested
 defendants Lam and Chan and searched their clothing store on West 30th
 Street in New York City. On that date, ICE agents also executed a court
 order restraining defendants' numerous assets, including 29 bank accounts
 and three properties in New York. ICE agents arrested defendant Yuen today
 in Las Vegas.
 
 
 
     "This was a sophisticated criminal conspiracy that trafficked millions
 of dollars of counterfeit goods from China, profiting off the backs of
 legitimate companies and their hard-working employees," said Assistant
 Attorney General Alice Fisher. "The Department of Justice is committed to
 continuing to aggressively prosecute intellectual property crimes that
 transcend our borders, harm our economy and victimize American companies
 and workers."
 
 
 
     "These criminal organizations cost legitimate businesses billions in
 lost revenue and they compromise the economic well-being of the United
 States," said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for
 ICE. "ICE is committed to working with our partners at the federal, state
 and local level to shut them down."
 
 
 
     According to the indictment, Lam, Chan, Yuen, and their fellow
 conspirators operated a massive international import and wholesale
 counterfeit goods business. From 2002 until Oct. 31, 2005, U.S. Customs and
 Border Protection (CBP) seized numerous containers of counterfeit luxury
 handbags and wallets imported from China. A subsequent ICE investigation,
 including a review of documents filed with CBP, disclosed that Lam, Chan,
 and Yuen engaged in a corporate shell game whereby they conspired to, and
 in fact imported, over 300,000 counterfeit luxury handbags and wallets into
 the United States from the PRC in the names of different companies, all
 under their control. The value of the corresponding authentic luxury goods
 manufactured by Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, and others, whose
 legitimate sales were displaced, is estimated to be over $100 million.
 
 
 
     The indictment alleges that the defendants sold or attempted to sell
 these counterfeit goods in the United States and elsewhere at prices
 significantly lower than those charged by the holders of the trademarks in
 question. Using very conservative sales prices for the infringing
 counterfeit items, investigators estimate that the defendants received $16
 million in illicit proceeds, which the defendants then transferred to bank
 accounts in the United States and overseas in the names of companies under
 their control, as well as using the proceeds to purchase at least three
 properties in New York. The United States has restrained, and seeks to
 forfeit, the contents of these bank accounts and the three properties.
 
 
 
     The investigation of the cases and the arrests were conducted by U.S.
 Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian R. Hood
 of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney John H. Zacharia of
 the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section
 are prosecuting the cases on behalf of the United States.
 
 
 
     All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice