By  on August 8, 2011

Two Chinese importers pleaded guilty last week to trafficking counterfeit perfume, according to the Department of Justice.

On Friday, Shaoxiong Zhou, 42, pleaded guilty before the U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold in Brooklyn, N.Y., to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods; and on Aug. 3, Shaoxia Huang, 33, pleaded guilty before the same judge to one count.

The two defendants — both from Shantou, Guangdong, China — admitted to offering to supply counterfeit fragrances to prospective buyers at a Las Vegas trade show in August 2010. An order containing the counterfeit goods was ultimately shipped to the U.S. earlier this year. When it arrived, the cargo shipment was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Inside were more than 30,000 bottles designed to resemble well-known fragrance brands, including Lacoste (a fragrance license held by Procter & Gamble Co.), as well as Polo Black and Armani Code (both held by L’Oréal). Zhou and Huang were arrested in Las Vegas on March 2.

At their sentencing, both defendants face maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Sentencing dates have not yet been set.

The case is part of ongoing federal investigations into the importation and distribution of counterfeit perfume and cosmetics. Senior Counsel Jason Gull of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.

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