TLC Spokesperson notes that counterfeit does not necessarily mean defective
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/28/2013 -- Three indictments have been issued in Manhattan federal court after they each allegedly sold counterfeit car parts to locations in the Long Island City area and elsewhere, according to authorities.
Two New Jersey, Shashi Malhotra and Kilani, and one man from Pennsylvania, Richard Dininni, were charged with conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods in two indictments that were unsealed by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
The warehouses of the men have been raided following the charges. “We congratulate the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office on this investigation and today’s operation, which effectively put this distribution network out of business,” city Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said in a statement.
Each of the three men operated independent companies in their towns from October of 2011 to February of 2013, while allegedly both selling and conspired to sell generic auto parts doctored to be top-quality brand parts.
“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,” Bharara said.
Specific crimes include allegedly packaging brake pads doctored to look like Ford Motorcraft products, with Dininni delivering counterfeit brakes to Long Island residents. Kalani hired a delivery driver to take doctored ignitions to automotive parts distributors, and Malhotra delivered brake pads that were counterfeit and doctored, according to the U.S. attorney.
Within the indictments is also a charge against Malhotra importing parts from China, while Kilani exported parts from Saudi Arabia. The two men were also caught having phone conversations wherein they discussed how to handle counterfeiting Ford Motorcraft tie rods.
A TLC spokesperson stated that even though the parts are counterfeit, it is not the case they they are de facto defective. The crime is in the misrepresentation of product quality and backing, as well as inflated pay rates. “The good news is passengers don’t even have to think of this in terms of safety,” Fromberg said.
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