Two years in jail for fake cell phone part seller

A US woman who sold more than $90m-worth of counterfeit cell phone parts has been jailed for two years.

59-year-old Sherrie Householder duped "hundreds of thousands" of unwary consumers who purchased the fakes via a bricks and mortar store in Springfield, Missouri, and through various e-commerce sites, according to the Department of Justice.

Householder – who operated via a business known as Flash Technology LLC owned by Chinese citizen Wang "Frank" Lou – has been ordered to pay nearly $8.9m in restitution in addition to serving prison time and having assets seized including $557,000 from accounts. She pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of tax evasion in May 2016.

Flash Technology supplied hundreds of thousands and "potentially millions" of replacement screens, lithium batteries, weight scales, phone cases and internal circuitry to customers across the US, racking up $90m in sales between December 2012 and January 2016.

The fraudulent parts contravened trademarks held by Apple, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Android, Dell, Blackberry, ASUS, Acer, Kindle, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Sony and ZTE, amongst other brand owners.

According to court documents, Householder was aware that a fraud was being perpetrated during the last six months before law enforcement shut the operation down, when she began receiving seizure letters from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Even though she was informed that the items she received from Luo were counterfeit, she continued selling these counterfeit products during that period, according to a DoJ statement.

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