A Buena Park businessman pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston to directing the manufacture of counterfeit veterinary-product labels and sending them to the Texas city.
Michael Chihwen Wang’s plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez, Southern District of Texas, who prosecuted the case based on an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Wang was vice president of CYU Lithographics Inc., which did business in Buena Park as Choice Lithographics. Between July 2015 and December 2016, the 49-year-old directed the manufacture of counterfeit trademarked Frontline, Frontline Plus and Merial veterinary product labels and shipped them to Houston.
Merial, Frontline and Frontline Plus are trademarks registered by Merial, an animal-health company in Duluth, Georgia, that manufactures and sells pharmaceutical drugs and pesticides for animals.
The counterfeit labels were intended to be slapped onto packages that did not contain the real products, but unbeknownst to Wang he was participating in an undercover sting, according to the feds.
The phony labels were delivered to a warehouse under the watchful eyes of investigators, but no actual veterinary product packages were altered.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt has set Wang’s sentencing for July 24, at which time he faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a possible $2 million fine. He is currently out on bond.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.