NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Plainsboro couple could face charges of of selling counterfeit designer shoes and handbags, netting $8 million and sending $3 million to people in China, authorities said today.
Yan Shi, 36, and her husband, Weiping Liu, 40, were arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy to violate the New Jersey Trademark Counterfeiting Act, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement.
Shi also faces an additional second-degree charge of violation of the Trademark Counterfeiting Act, the prosecutor said.
The investigation, part of case called Operation Day at the Races, involved the prosecutor’s office, Plainsboro police, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Services, Carey said.
Authorities allege Shi maintained several eBay stores to sell counterfeit goods she received from China and Hong Kong.
When investigators raided the couple’s home on Thursday, they seized counterfeit Longchamp, Vera Bradley and Uggs products, the prosecutor said.
Shi allegedly had various aliases to avoid detection, some used as far back as 2013, authorities said.
They said the couple received $8 million from the sales and Shi laundered about $3 million by sending it to people in China.
Shi and Liu are scheduled to appear in New Brunswick on July 5, 2018, for their initial appearance in Superior Court.
Authorities are still investigating the couple and ask that anyone with information contact Plainsboro police Detective Timothy McMahon at (609) 799-2333 or Detective Ryan Tighe of the prosecutor’s office at (732) 745- 3287.
First-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of $20 years in prison upon conviction.