A Las Vegas business owner was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison for trafficking in nearly $1.5 million in counterfeit electronics from China, according to the Department of Justice.
Saad Ahmed, 32, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. According to the Justice Department, the conspiracy began in 2012.
Ahmed owns and operates PhonePartsUSA, a Las Vegas-based company that sells cellphone parts and other electronics across the country, the Justice Department said.
In his plea agreement, Ahmed admitted to conspiring with multiple people in China to bring just under $1.5 million in counterfeit parts to the U.S. to sell.
The fake parts had trademarks from well-known electronics companies like Samsung and Apple, according to the Justice Department. He undervalued his imports to sneak them through U.S. Customs unnoticed, then had his staff destroy the invoices when the shipments arrived, the agency said.
Robert Brewer, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said counterfeit merchandise is a threat to customers, and to the nation’s economy as a whole.
“The public is entitled to trust that a trademark means a product is authentic, and not that an unscrupulous merchant is trying to make a quick buck at their expense,” Brewer said in a statement. “Counterfeit goods are not easy money. They are a crime.”