Laredo merchant gets 18 months for fake goods

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Associated Press

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 9:32 AM

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — A South Texas merchant caught with nearly 6,000 bogus designer items has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

A federal judge in Laredo on Tuesday also ordered 47-year-old Yi Hui Chen to make more than $428,000 in restitution. Chen, who operated J Design in downtown Laredo, pleaded guilty last May to trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Undercover agents bought fake designer products including handbags, clothing and luggage. The items were portrayed as being from Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Coach, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Prada and Rolex.

Prosecutors say Chen is a U.S. legal permanent resident from Taiwan but is expected to face deportation proceedings after serving time in prison.

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