2013-02-13 / Front Page

Five Queens Businessmen Nabbed With Knockoff Toys

BY Liz Goff

Federal authorities last week arrested five Queens businessmen who were charged with importing knockoff, substandard toys from China.

The toys included characters Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora The Explorer, Spider Man and Mutant Ninja Turtles, along with “Toy Story,” “Cars,” and “High School Musical” figures, authorities said.

“When it comes to trademark infringement, don’t mess with Mickey Mouse or other American icons,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Chenghan Hu, 51, Hua Fet Zhang, 52, Xiu Lan Zhang, 60, Guan Jun Zhang, 29, and Jun Wu Zhang, 28, were charged with trademark infringement, money laundering and conspiracy to import hazardous goods into the U.S., authorities said.

A large number of the toys contained a high lead content and small, substandard parts that easily break apart and pose a choking hazard to small children, the authorities said.

Prosecutors said a company official regularly signed a release form abandoning the seized goods – and then establish a new company to begin importing the items.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Brener said the defendants repeatedly reorganized the illegal operations after each of 33 seizures that occurred over the last few years.

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