Saad Ahmed Sentenced to Prison for Trafficking More Than $1 Million in Counterfeit Electronics
A Las Vegas business owner, Saad Ahmed, was sentenced to prison for running a years-long conspiracy to import counterfeit electronics from China into the United States.
Saad Ahmed was sentenced to six months in custody by U.S. District Judge Thomas J. Whelan, based on Saad’s conviction for Conspiracy to Traffic in Counterfeit Goods. In September, Ahmed admitted to running a years-long conspiracy to import counterfeit electronics from China into the United States.
Ahmed, 32, owns and operates PhonePartsUSA, a Las Vegas, Nevada-based company that sells cellular telephone parts and other electronics throughout the United States—including to customers in San Diego. In his plea agreement, Ahmed acknowledged conspiring with a variety of individuals in China to bring counterfeit cell phone parts and accessories from China to the United States. The conspiracy stretched back to at least September 2012.
PhonePartsUSA trafficked $1,499,999 worth of counterfeit goods during this period, per Ahmed’s plea agreement. The phony merchandise bore trademarks from Samsung, Apple and the electronic quality certification company UL, but the goods were actually inauthentic copies. Court filings relate that some of Ahmed’s customers had quality complaints about counterfeit parts purchased from his business.
Part of Ahmed’s scheme involved grossly undervaluing his international imports to deflect U.S. Customs’ attention from his shipments, according to court documents. Ahmed then directed his staff to destroy the false undervalued invoices when the shipments arrived at his warehouse.
Ahmed agreed to pay restitution to the three trademark holders in an amount totaling $269,681, which constituted the proceeds Ahmed’s business received from trafficking in the counterfeit merchandise. Ahmed also agreed not to contest the forfeiture of 4,453 cell phone parts and accessories seized from PhonePartsUSA as part of a search by Homeland Security Investigations in June 2018.
“Counterfeit merchandise is a threat to consumers, to legitimate producers, and to the entire economy,” said Robert Brewer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. “The public is entitled to trust that a trademark means a product is authentic, and not that an unscrupulous merchant is trying to make a quick buck at their expense. Counterfeit goods are not easy money. They are a crime.”
The case was investigated by the US Attorney’s office, Southern District of California.