Counterfeit Clothing Racket Nets Six Arrests
NOV 14 -- (New York) JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent in Charge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, MARK J. MERSHON, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and SALVATORE DALESSANDRO, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), announced the arrests today of six individuals – SAM WANG, a/k/a “Hwa Shan Wang,” HUSSEIN NASSER, HUSSEIN CHAHINE, HASSAN CHAHINE, ALI FAYAD NASSER, and COLIN TSAI, a/k/a “Chang-Yeh Tsai” –- on charges that they conspired to import and distribute millions of dollars worth of counterfeit clothing bearing various urban and hip-hop-style designer labels.
DEA Special Agent in Charge stated, “Following the same path as drug dealers, this counterfeit clothing organization was reaping profit for illegal sales. Throughout this investigation the DEA and our law enforcement partners collaborated in order to send a message to money launderers and counterfeit trafficking organizations that we will not tolerate such actions.”
According to Complaints filed in Manhattan federal court: From August 2003 through November 2007, WANG, HUSSEIN NASSER, HUSSEIN CHAHINE, HASSAN CHAHINE, ALI FAYAD NASSER and TSAI imported counterfeit designer clothing from China, sold the clothing in the New York metropolitan area and elsewhere in the United States, and then laundered the proceeds from the illegal sales. WANG was responsible for the manufacture in China of the counterfeit clothing and its importation into the United States. HUSSEIN NASSER owned and operated at least three clothing stores in Manhattan, where he, HUSSEIN CHAHINE, HASSAN CHAHINE, and ALI FAYAD NASSER received WANG’s counterfeit clothing and then sold it to wholesale and retail customers. TSAI worked as a freight forwarder based in Los Angeles, California, and received shipments of counterfeit merchandise from WANG and arranged for their transportation to HUSSEIN NASSER and others in New York.
According to the Complaints, WANG shipped counterfeit designer clothing until as recently as October 2007, and shipped a total of more than $19.7 million worth of clothing between August 2003 and November 2006. The stores owned and operated by HUSSEIN NASSER and his associates included “Crown Ambassador Trading Company,” located at 1171 Broadway, “Jeanius” located at 1157 Broadway, and “Sweat-N-Tee” located at 246 Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan.
HUSSEIN NASSER, 27, HUSSEIN CHAHINE, 27, HASSAN CHAHINE, 25, and ALI FAYAD NASSER, 25, were arrested today at their residences in North Bergen, New Jersey. SAM WANG, 51, who resides in Taiwan, was arrested today in Flushing, Queens. All are scheduled to be presented before Magistrate Judge DEBRA C. FREEMAN today on the charges contained in the Complaints. COLIN TSAI was arrested today in California and is expected to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge in the Central District of California later today.
Mr. GARCIA praised the efforts of the FBI, New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force" (Strike Force) which is comprised of agents and officers of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police Department, the United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police, the United States Marshals Service, the United States Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Hudson County, New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office in conducting the investigation.