US man agrees plea deal in $9.5m fake Apple, Samsung case

A US man has pleaded guilty to selling at least $9.5m-worth of counterfeit Apple and Samsung phones via Amazon and eBay.

Artur Pupko (28) of Boise, Idaho, is one of 10 defendants in the case brought by federal prosecutors, and is the only one to plead guilty to the charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17.

According to court records, Pupko and his conspirators sold counterfeit cell phones and cell phone accessories on and eBay that were misrepresented as new and genuine Apple and Samsung products.

Using at least six different corporate entities, Pupko smuggled counterfeit phones and accessories in bulk from manufacturers in Hong Kong and China, repackaged the products, and then individually resold to consumers online as genuine and new in order to deceive customers.

As part of his plea, Pupko admitted that, on three different occasions in October through December 2017, his company sold counterfeit Apple and/or Samsung products to law enforcement. He has agreed to pay restitution to Apple and Samsung of $9.5m as part of a plea deal, according to local press reports.

The charge of trafficking in counterfeit goods is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $5m fine, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

The other defendants - Pavel, Gennady, Piotr, Timofey, Kristina and Natalya Babichenko; Anna and Mikhail Iyerusalimets; and David Bibikov – are due to face trial in October. Pavel (Paul) Babichenko has been accused of being the ringleader of the group but denies all charges.

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