A Chinese national in the United States on a student visa was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday for smuggling counterfeit Apple products from China into the U.S.
Jianhua "Jeff" Li, 44, pleaded guilty in the District of New Jersey to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and labels and smuggle goods into the United States, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Products coming from China included fake iPhones and iPads, according to court documents.
"From July 2009 through February 2014, Li, working through his company Dream Digitals, conspired with Andreina Becerra, Roberto Volpe, Rosario LaMarca and others to smuggle and traffic into the United States from China more than 40,000 electronic devices and accessories, including iPads and iPhones, along with labels and packaging bearing counterfeit Apple trademarks," the Justice Department wrote in a news release.
Li's sentence will be followed by a year of supervised release.
Li shipped the devices separately from the labels to avoid detection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, the release said.
"The devices were then shipped to conspirators in the United States. Proceeds were funneled back to conspirator accounts in Florida and New Jersey via structured cash deposits and then a portion was transferred to conspirators in Italy, further disguising the source of the funds. Over $1.1 million in sales proceeds were wired from U.S. accounts into accounts Li controlled overseas," the release said.
LaMarca, Becerra and Volpe previously pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the scheme. LaMarca was sentenced July 21, 2017, to serve 37 months in prison.
Becerra and Volpe were sentenced Oct. 15, 2018, to serve three years' probation and 22 months in prison, respectively.