A married College Point couple were arrested and arraigned last week for allegedly selling counterfeit copies of designer handbags and watches in their Manhattan store.
Chen Zhibin, 49, and his wife, Yun Wei Huang, 47, were charged with criminal tax fraud and trademark counterfeiting. If convicted, they face up to 25 years in state prison.
The couple ran Mendi Gift Shop on Canal Street, where it is alleged they sold counterfeit high-end designer goods at supposed discount prices. The merchandise displayed the registered trademarks of brands such as Hermes, Rolex, Michael Kors, Chanel, Ray-Ban, Prada and Coach, among others. None of the items were authentic and though they looked like the real thing, were of very low quality, the complaint said.
They were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court. The case is under the jurisdiction of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Zhibin and Huang are also charged with underreporting their corporate income and their personal income to avoid paying sales taxes and income taxes to the state. They reported combined earnings of $30,000 a year, yet maintained two residences in College Point as well as three cars, a BMW X5, a BMW 550 and a Honda Civic.
“Counterfeiting is a serious crime that robs legitimate, well-known businesses of customers and costs taxpayers billions of dollars in revenue each year,” Schneiderman said.
“Counterfeiters like these deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law and taken off the streets.”