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Chinese man jailed in US for smuggling fake iPhones, iPads


Press Trust of India Washington
A Chinese national living in the US on a student visa was sentenced to 37 months in prison on Tuesday for allegedly smuggling counterfeit Apple products, including fake iPhones and iPads, into the US from China.
Jianhua Jeff Li, 44, had previously pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
According to court documents, from July 2009 through February 2014, Li, working through his company Dream Digitals, conspired with his accomplices -- Andreina Becerra, Roberto Volpe, Rosario LaMarca -- and others to smuggle into the US from China more than 40,000 electronic devices and accessories, including iPads and iPhones, along with labels and packaging bearing counterfeit Apple trademarks.
Jianhua shipped the devices separately from the labels to avoid detection by the US Customs and Border Protection officials, federal prosecutors said.
The devices were then shipped to conspirators all over the US. Proceeds were funneled back to conspirator accounts in Florida and New Jersey via structured cash deposits and then a portion was transferred to conspirators in Italy, further disguising the source of the funds.
Over USD 1.1 million in sales proceeds were wired from US accounts into accounts Jianhua controlled overseas, the Department of Justice said.
In addition to the prison term, he has also got one year of supervised release.
LaMarca, Becerra and Volpe previously pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the scheme. LaMarca was sentenced on July 21, 2017 to 37 months in prison.
Becerra and Volpe were sentenced on October 15, 2018, to three years' probation and 22 months in prison, respectively.

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First Published: Jul 31 2019 | 1:15 AM IST

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