MANHATTAN (CN) – The head of a $200 million counterfeit consumer goods smuggling ring was sentenced this week to 8 years in prison and a former licensed customs broker he worked with to almost 6 years, federal prosecutors said. The ring smuggled the bogus goods through the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey.
Michael Chu, 72, of Manhattan, who used at least four aliases, was sentenced to 97 months in prison.
Former customs broker Robin Huff, 47, or Brooklyn, was sentenced to 70 months.
Hsi Feng Li, 62, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to 33 months, and Dick Ong, 58, of Bergenfield, N.J., got probation.
“Chu and his co-conspirators paid more than $500,000 in cash bribes to an undercover federal agent posing as a corrupt longshoreman’s union official able to clear cargo through federal customs and border security measures,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Huff monitored the status of Chu’s incoming containers at Port Newark through an electronic cargo database that border officials make available to customs brokers. The estimated value of the counterfeit merchandise, based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the genuine articles, exceeds $200 million.”
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, who issued the sentences, already has sentenced three others in the case; two more await sentencing.