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Boise man pleads guilty to multi-million-dollar counterfeit cellphone scheme

A 28-year-old Boise man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to trafficking in counterfeit goods, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced Thursday.

Sentencing for Artur Pupko has been set for December 17, 2019 before U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.

According to court records, Pupko conspired with others to operate a multi-million dollar scheme wherein they sold counterfeit cellphones and cellphone accessories on and that were misrepresented as new and genuine Apple and Samsung products.

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

Also, 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.

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

This case is the result of a coordinated investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, and United States Postal Inspection Service. Senior Trial Attorney Timothy Flowers with the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christian Nafzger and Katherine Horwitz prosecuted the case.

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