A man in San Gabriel Valley, California, pleaded guilty to being involved in a multi-million-dollar scheme to ship counterfeit laptop batteries and other electronics from China to the United States, where they were sold on online marketplaces.
The 29-year-old Chinese national, Zoulin Cai, who went by the name Allen Cai, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced in a release.
According to his plea agreement, Cai conspired to import counterfeit lithium-ion batteries and other electronic accessories for laptops and cellphones from China to the United States.
He sold and shipped the counterfeit batteries to unsuspecting buyers via online marketplaces eBay and Amazon, and advertised the products as new and original products from companies such as Apple, Dell, HP, and Toshiba.
The batteries also bore counterfeit trademarks of these companies, and also carried counterfeit safety certification marks of the company UL.
According to UL, most counterfeiting is of lithium-ion batteries because the market is bigger and more lucrative. Due to poor design or a fault in the counterfeited battery, these counterfeit items can pose significant safety risks and overheat, catch fire, and even explode.
Cai was previously arreste
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California Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Laptop Batteries From China