Background

The Department of Justice reports that an India-based company has been sentenced to two years’ corporate probation and ordered to forfeit $300,000 after pleading guilty to conspiring to smuggle counterfeit cigarettes into the U.S. Two Indian citizens also involved in the conspiracy were each sentenced to 23 months’ imprisonment and two years’ supervised release.

According to a DOJ press release, the containers and labeling of approximately 68,600 cartons of cigarettes bore counterfeits of the trade name and marks of an American brand of cigarettes that were substantially indistinguishable from the marks of the U.S. manufacturer of that brand. The cigarettes were shipped from India to the U.S., where they were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and payment was made through international wire transfers to bank accounts in India and the United Arab Emirates. The DOJ notes that the two shipments involved had a total approximate value of $4.3 million.

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