NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Five people were hit with federal charges Wednesday in a counterfeit perfume bust in downtown Manhattan.
Patrick Badal, Kaium Shah, Kenny Ni, Abdul Kashem, and Parvez Shazzed were arrested Wednesday for allegedly participating in a scheme to distribute counterfeit name-brand perfumes in New York and around the country.
The defendants all had their initial court appearance before Manhattan U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein Wednesday. Meanwhile, Chopper 2 flew over the scene as NYPD detectives were seen carting off boxes from a store near Canal Street – one of several locations raided Wednesday morning.
The bust was part of an ongoing investigation called Operation Bad Odor.
Federal prosecutors alleged that since December 2014, the five defendants arrested Wednesday and others imported generic liquid fragrances from China, separately imported boxes and packaging with phony trademarks from China, packaged the generic perfume in the trademarked packaging, and sold the counterfeit perfume to wholesalers in New York and six other states.
One of the stores was located in or around Lafayette Street in Manhattan that was operated by Shazzed, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors alleged that the products came to the area in shipping containers at the Port of Newark and were transported to a bonded warehouse in Elizabeth, New Jersey. From the warehouse, which was operated by a trucking company, the products were taken to Queens for where they were matched with deceptive packaging, prosecutors said.
The counterfeit perfume ring went on to transfer the goods to a self-storage facility in Queens, and then hauled them on pallets to wholesalers around the city and beyond, prosecutors said.
All five defendants are charged with conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods – with each count carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison – and all but Shazzed are also charged with trafficking in counterfeit packaging, which carries a maximum sentence of five years, prosecutors said. Badal and Shah are also charged with smuggling goods into the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.