A former Linn-Benton Community College student and Chinese national was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison on Monday for trafficking fake and altered Apple iPhones.
Quan Jiang, 30, had previously pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods in May in U.S. District Court in Portland.
Jiang was importing fake and altered Apple iPhones from Hong Kong, then submitting them to Apple in exchange for genuine warranty replacement phones to be sold on the Chinese market, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In just more than two years, Jiang, an LBCC engineering student, imported more than 2,000 inoperable counterfeit iPhones. He ultimately obtained approximately 1,500 replacement iPhones, each with a resale value of roughly $600.
His scheme first came to the attention of law enforcement in April 2017, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a shipment of 28 smartphones en route to Jiang in Corvallis.
In October that year, Customs and Border Protection seized a similar shipment of 25 Apple smartphones.
Customs and Border Protection sent Jiang a notice of seizure, indicating that Apple representatives had confirmed the phones were counterfeit. Nevertheless, three more shipments, each with 29 iPhones, were seized by the agency in November 2017.
According to court documents, between Jan. 1, 2016, and Feb. 1, 2018, Jiang would regularly receive packages containing between 20 to 30 counterfeit iPhones. Using various assumed names, he would submit each phone to Apple in person or online for a warranty replacement. He would then ship the genuine replacement devices he received back to China for resale, according to the news release.
In exchange for this service, Jiang’s associate would pay Jiang’s mother, also residing in China, who would in turn deposit the money into Jiang’s bank account.
U.S. District Judge Karin J. Immergut sentenced Jiang to three years and one month in federal prison, rejecting a request from Jiang's attorney for probation.
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