Guam – One of 3 suspects arrested on Guam in an alleged counterfeit ring has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to smuggle counterfeit goods into the U.S.
According to the plea agreement filed Thursday in Guam’s District Court, Eng Cheng Kee and others conspired to smuggle counterfeit goods manufactured in China and elsewhere into the U.S. through an “under-cover” business located in Maryland. The goods typically consisted of counterfeit Nike shoes and Coach hand bags.
The original indictment against Kee and 8 other alleged co-conspirators was handed down by a Maryland Grand Jury.
But Kee’s Guam Attorney, Stephanie Flores, tells PNC News that the case has very little to do with Guam, other than that “one meeting” between some of the alleged conspirators was held here. She says Kee, who is a Malaysian citizen, and 2 other alleged co-conspirators were arrested by INS agents when they flew into Guam. All 3 are in custody now on island. The other 2 alleged co-conspirators are Chinese nationals, Wai Hong Yong and Hexing Yang.
According to Kee’s plea agreement, Yang [also known as Marco Yang] “paid smuggling fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to have the counterfeit goods cleared for distribution.”
The conspiracy is alleged to have begun in March of 2008 and continued through March of 2010. And Kee admitted that the “loss attributable to the counterfeit items was more than $1-million dollars.” He faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $25-thousand dollar fine. But Kee has agreed to provide “substantial assistance” to prosecutors in exchange for his co-operation in the ongoing investigation.
The plea agreement has not yet been accepted by the District Court. A Plea Hearing has been set for next Wednesday, August 25th before Magistrate Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan.