Two men in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania arrested at their homes
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/04/2013 -- The FBI recently announced that it was able to bust a replacement car-part counterfeit ring, which was found to be selling Chinese and Saudi parts as labeled brands from the United states. The raids were carried out in New Jersey and Queens.
Taxi operators purchased the counterfeit parts for many of their cabs, and are likely still driving with the counterfeit pieces of equipment. Many limousine companies also purchased the parts from the same companies.
“These defendants sold the automobile replacement parts equivalent of designer knock-offs, but represented to their unsuspecting customers that they were buying the ‘name brand,’” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.
He added: “And while their replacement parts may have been no different from many other generic parts sold every day in the aftermarket, they were able to command the same higher prices charged by the automobile manufacturers’ whose names they stole.”
The three perpetrators are Shashi Malhotra, Fadi Kilani, and Richard Dininni were each arrested at their homes last week, according to the FBI.
Malhotra and Kilani operated legitimate businesses that specialized in parts-trading in the New Jersey area, but had sold and conspired to continue selling the counterfeit Original Equipment Manufacturer parts, said the FBI in a statement. Dininni operated a parts company out of Pennsylvania and conspired to sell the faked OEM parts as well.
“While it is not generally against the law to sell replicas or imitations, it is illegal to try to pass them off as authentic or original,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos in a statement. “Likewise, there is a legitimate market for aftermarket auto parts, but these defendants allegedly packaged parts to appear to be original manufacturer equipment and sold them as such.”
Venizelos said, “That isn’t legitimate; it’s fraud.”
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