Glendale Man Sentenced for Role in Counterfeiting Scheme
A Glendale man was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine for his part in a multimillion-dollar smuggling operation that brought counterfeit goods to the U.S. from Korea.
Sun Hyung Lee, 45, pleaded guilty to smuggling and trafficking in counterfeit merchandise in February 1997, six months after he and eight others were indicted on bribery, smuggling and counterfeiting charges.
Except for two suspects who remain fugitives, all have been convicted and sentenced to terms ranging from 18 months in federal prison to probation, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Marc Harris.
The smuggled goods--which included counterfeit and unlicensed handbags, clothing and other items--bore the trademarks of Louis Vuitton, Dooney & Bourke, Guess? and Starter, according to the U.S. attorneys’ office.
Upon pleading guilty last year, Lee confessed that he allowed the smugglers of the bogus merchandise to use his company’s name, Western Toner, to import the goods, authorities said. When one of the shipments was inspected and found to contain counterfeit merchandise, the group attempted to bribe a customs official, Harris said. More than $2 million worth of goods was smuggled into the country, he said.