An Irvine man was sentenced this morning to 30 months in federal prison for hawking counterfeit goods, including knock-offs of Bowflex, Ab Circle Pro and Malibu Pilates exercise machines.
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United States District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles immediately remanded Stanley Kuo Jua Yang, 36, into custody at the conclusion of the hearing.
An investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection exposed 40-foot containers Yang imported in the summer of 2009. Federal agents served a search warrant at Yang's Fountain Valley business on Sept. 22, 2010, and discovered counterfeit exercise equipment, complete machines, parts, manuals and stickers, as well as thousands of counterfeit Zumba and Core Rhythm exercise DVDs, more than 10,000 counterfeit Silhouette slim pants and hundreds of counterfeit BMW navigation DVDs. The estimated value of the goods were genuine: $900,000.
Yang was actually swept up in the federal probe into the piracy of intellectual property in general and counterfeit exercise equipment in particular. As part of the same investigation, a Chino woman was sentenced to 41 months in prison in 2010 for importing nearly $600,000 worth of counterfeit exercise equipment and paying a cash bribe to a person she thought was a U.S. Customs official, while a Los Angeles man was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2011 for importing nearly $250,000 worth of counterfeit exercise equipment.