Photo courtesy Richard Brown
By Phil Corso

BELLEROSE – Four organized counterfeiting rings based in Queens were allegedly taken down after prosecutors went undercover for over three years, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

A total of 26 suspects were named in an indictment along with two corporations for allegedly importing and selling counterfeit brand name apparel and other items from China to wholesale buyers throughout the United States and Virgin Islands, Brown said. Of the defendants, 19 are currently in custody with several hailing from throughout the borough, the DA said.

Oakland Gardens resident Suk B. Yi, 18; Woodhaven resident Samantha Defreitas, 26; Flushing residents Jian Zhong Jian, 43, and Xiu Wei Ye, 43; and Bellerose resident Bobak Ahouraie, 23; were among those in custody, the DA said.

“Operations such as those allegedly run by the defendants fuel an underground economy,” Brown said. “They are cash businesses that pay no taxes and damage the reputations of reputable brand owners and lower consumer confidence in the name brands by foisting inferior products into the marketplace.”

Brown said the rings, which allegedly operated from self-storage facilities in Brooklyn and Queens, generated about $10 million in combined gross annual revenue. Twelve of the defendants were indicted for enterprise corruption under New York State’s Organized Crime Control Act among other charges, and the remaining defendants face felony trademark counterfeiting and conspiracy charges, according to the borough’s top prosecutor.

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