Five people, including four Queens residents, have been arrested and charged with racketeering, trademark counterfeiting, conspiracy and money laundering for operating a scheme to import and sell fake designer handbags, boots, jackets, pocketbooks, sunglasses, jewelry and other merchandise, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced on Thursday.
The knockoffs were manufactured and exported from factories in China, stored at facilities in Queens and then distributed by the ring members to “street sellers” in the metro area, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia and California.
Three men and two women have been arrested and indicted for the scheme run through their company “Goodies Enterprise Inc.”; Chee Kwan Yim, 42, Chee Kuen Yim, 39, and Chee Ching Yim, 44, all of Little Neck, and Anthony Moresco, 63, of Rutherford, NJ are incarcerated in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, charged with the top count of enterprise corruption, the state’s anti-racketeering law, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. The four are also charged with money laundering, conspiracy and trademark counterfeiting. Co-defendant Regina Ngan, 30, of Queens, is free on $5,000 bail, charged with trademark counterfeiting and conspiracy.
Spota said a search warrant executed March 14 at 30-60 Review Ave. in Maspeth led to the seizure of 1,400 boxes of counterfeit merchandise. In addition to fake handbags, sunglasses, footwear and other apparel, detectives seized decals, tags, logos, symbols, manufacturing plates and the machinery used to produce counterfeit trademark designs. Designer replica badges, buttons and fashion adornments recovered in the raid, DA Spota said, included the trademarks of Coach, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Nike, Oakley, Prada, Chanel, and Kate Spade.
A tractor trailer and seven box trucks were used to remove the trademark counterfeit products from the Maspeth location, DA Spota said. According to experts, the retail value of the trademark merchandise seized is in excess of 10 million dollars.
“The defendants bought these faux leather handbags, made in China, for two dollars apiece, and then our undercover detectives were buying them from the defendants for $18 to $25 each, and in turn, the bags would have been sold on the street, or in a Long Island home during a “Handbag Party,” for anywhere between $50 to $100,” Spota said. “A genuine Louis Vuitton shoulder bag costs between $1,000 to $4,000.”
Members of the ring are alleged to have laundered their profits by buying valuable jade and other high-end jewels as well as real estate. “Records recovered during the investigation,” Spota said, “show that millions of dollars in illegal profits were going back to banks in China, and investments in real estate in China, New York City, Florida and California.”
— Joseph Orovic