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Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking More than $2.5 Million Worth of Counterfeit Shoes

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A 42-year-old man plead guilty before the U.S. District Newark federal court for trafficking more than $2.5 million in counterfeit Ugg boots, according to an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement report released Wednesday.

The Staten Island, N.Y. man in question, Shi Wei Zheng, admitted to trafficking over 15,000 pair of shoes. Zheng reportedly also paid people $50,000 in exchange for the delivery of the shipping containers.

Zheng had planned to have those that worked for him pick up the shoes at the Port of Newark. Zheng requested workers at the port get rid of the shipping containers filled with counterfeit Uggs before they could be examined by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which the inspectors eventually intercepted. After the containers were removed, Zheng planned to then distribute the boots in the Tri-State area.

Homeland Security of Investigations (HSI) and CBP caught and examined the containers before the boots could be sold, determining that the product was fake.

The trafficking of counterfeit goods charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, and a $2 million fine. Zheng will be sentenced in January of 2018.

Americans are no stranger to counterfeit goods, with police officers cracking down on fake products being sold in major cities. Even Amazon has been taking measures to quell the onslaught of counterfeit footwear sold on its website.

Ugg has taken steps to crackdown on counterfeits. The brand created an Ugg counterfeit Facebook page with videos and photos that help consumers identify counterfeit product and alert them to popular scams.

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