A man in San Gabriel Valley, California, pleaded guilty to being serious a pair of multi-million-buck plan to ship counterfeit laptop batteries and varied electronics from China to the US, the place they had been sold on online marketplaces.
The 29-year-historical Chinese national, Zoulin Cai, who glided by the name Allen Cai, pleaded guilty to 1 depend of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and one depend of aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Authorized educated’s Place of job for the Central District of California announced in a liberate.
In response to his plea agreement, Cai conspired to import counterfeit lithium-ion batteries and varied digital equipment for laptops and cellphones from China to the US.
He sold and shipped the counterfeit batteries to unsuspecting investors by online marketplaces eBay and Amazon, and advertised the merchandise as original and unique merchandise from corporations corresponding to Apple, Dell, HP, and Toshiba.
The batteries furthermore bore counterfeit trademarks of these corporations, and furthermore carried counterfeit security certification marks of the firm UL.
In response to UL, most counterfeiting is of lithium-ion batteries for the reason that market is bigger and further profitable. Resulting from heart-broken invent or a fault in the counterfeited battery, these counterfeit items can pose important security dangers and overheat, take fireplace, and even explode.
Cai was previously arrested in December 2019 for his then-alleged involvement in the plan.
He admitted on Tuesday that he and his co-conspirators had profited by at the least $3.5 million and as mighty as $23,831,668 from March 2014 to June 2019 from the sale of the counterfeit merchandise. In the the same time physique, Cai and his co-conspirators despatched over $18 million by wire transfers from U.S.-essentially essentially based monetary institution accounts precise now to Chinese monetary institution accounts.
In response to a federal mountainous jury indictment unsealed in December 2019, Cai worked for Shenzhen Theseus Technology Co. Ltd., a China-essentially essentially based firm, sooner than he moved to Los Angeles County in 2012. Shenzhen Theseus manufactured counterfeit lithium-ion batteries and was owned and operated by Cai’s household participants.
Federal brokers made undercover purchases of the counterfeit batteries from Cai on loads of times forward of his arrest.
Cai and varied co-conspirators had created many corporations essentially essentially based in the US to import and sell the counterfeit batteries and electronics, which had been then shipped from warehouses in La Puente that he controlled, the plea agreement stated.
One amongst Cai’s warehouses was reveal in December 2019 to occupy contained about 44,000 batteries and 175,000 counterfeit labels of a pair of corporations, including Apple, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and Samsung.
The Chinese national faces a most sentence of 22 years of federal imprisonment. A sentencing listening to has been scheduled for Oct. 4.