Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Guy Armour of the Plainsboro Police Department announced today that a township couple has been arrested and charged with selling counterfeit designer products from China and Hong Kong, netting a profit of approximately 8 million dollars, and then laundering millions back to individuals in China.
Authorities say the arrests were part of Operation Day at the Races, an investigation conducted by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Plainsboro Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations - Newark, and the United States Postal Inspection Services – Kilmer Domicile.
Police arrested Yan Shi, 36, and her husband Weiping Liu, 40, of Plainsboro, on June 14th, and charged with one count of money laundering in the first degree, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in the second degree, and one count of conspiracy to commit a violation of the New Jersey Trademark Counterfeiting Act in the second degree.
In addition, authorities charged Yan Shi with one count of violation of the New Jersey Trademark Counterfeiting Act in the second degree.
The investigation has revealed that Shi maintained several eBay stores to sell counterfeit goods that she received from China and Hong Kong. Counterfeit Longchamp, Vera Bradley and Uggs products were seized during the execution of a search warrant on June 14, 2018 at the residence of Shi & Liu.
It was further determined that the proceeds from the counterfeit goods were laundered through more than a dozen financial accounts. Shi and Liu have netted approximately $8 million as a result of the sale of the counterfeit goods and Shi laundered approximately $3 million to individuals in China. Yan Shi has maintained various aliases to avoid detection dating back to 2013.
According to authorities, Shi and Liu are scheduled to appear in New Brunswick on July 5, 2018 for their initial appearance in Superior Court.
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Timothy McMahon of the Plainsboro Police Department (609) 799-2333 or Detective Ryan Tighe of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745- 3287.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Shi and Liu are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.