The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 29, 2013

NK pair sentenced in bogus bags case

Star Beacon

— Two North Kingsville residents have been sentenced for trafficking in counterfeit merchandise, according to a statement from Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland.

Trang Doan Hoang, 37, and Quoc-Thang Ngo Mai, 39, were arrested last year and sentenced recently by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin. Hoang will spend four months in prison, followed by two years of supervised released, of which the first four months must be served in home confinement with electronic monitoring. Mai received two years probation, of which the first six months must be served in home confinement with electronic monitoring.

The pair were indicted in September by a federal grand jury that charged them with one count each of trafficking in counterfeit merchandise. Both pleaded guilty in November, according to a statement.

The indictment charged that between Dec. 21, 2011, and Feb. 14, 2012, Hoang and Mai intentionally trafficked and attempted to traffic in about 146 designer handbags, 47 designer wallets and 16 counterfeit Rolex watches which contained counterfeit “marks, logos, labels, hang tags, patches, stickers, emblems, holograms and packaging,” according to the statement. The marks on the merchandise were indistinguishable from marks used on genuine products, authorities said. Also, the indictment charged that the use of marks was likely to cause confusion, mistake or to deceive.

In mid-February, officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement served search warrants and seized evidence at a Harmony Glen residence in North Kingsville, officials said at the time.  The federal investigation started with information provided agencies by North Kingsville police. Initially, village officers handled a complaint lodged by occupants of the Harmony Glen house, who alleged identity theft and fraud.

Counterfeit merchandise will be destroyed.