A luxury goods retailer that was revealed to be selling fake goods that were supposedly made by the manufacturers of some very pricey brands was sentenced to serve 36 months in a federal penitentiary after he was convicted for his role in procuring and selling the items at his stores.
Hassan Aoun, 43, was sentenced to the three years behind bars and to two years of supervised release Oct. 19 by the Judge Nancy G. Edmunds at the federal court house in Detroit. He was convicted of April 12 by a jury for conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, a felony.
In addition to the sentences, Aoun and other defendants forfeited a 2006 Bentley Continental automobile, a 2002 Toyota Sequoia, 1,000 boxes filled with counterfeit merchandise and $61,384 in currency that was deemed to be proceeds of the scheme or used in furtherance of the scheme.
U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade made the announcement Oct. 19. She was joined by FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley and by IRS Special Agent Erick Martinez. The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation Unit.
According to the evidence presented at Aoun’s trial, his company, the Aoun Organization, imported counterfeit goods between 2004 and 2010.
“Intellectual property crimes are not victimless crimes,” said McQuade in a statement. “They harm local businesses that play by the rules.”
The items sold as luxury or well-known brands such as Nike, Gucci and Timberland shoes; Coach, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton purses; and clothing lines from brands such as Diesel Jeans, Burberry, Lacoste, and Coogi. The items were transported from New York and sold at Detroit area retailers including Off Da Hook, Da Hook Up, Da Jump Off, Boom Boom Wear, Fresh Gear, Hot Wear, and Kings and Queens.
In addition to Hassan Aoun, six other members of the Aoun Organiation—five of whom lived in Dearborn—pleaded guilty to conspiracy and trafficking charges, and have been sentenced. They include:
- Nithal Aoun, 35, of Dearborn, was sentenced to two years in federal prison and two years supervised release and a $2,000 fine.
- Mohamad Aoun, 26, of Dearborn, was sentenced to serve two years in custody and two years of supervised release as well as forfeiture of $26,384 in cash.
- Wissam Aoun, 40, of Dearborn, was sentenced to serve two years in custody and pay a $2,000 fine, as well as forfeiture of $35,000 in cash and the Bentley and Toyota vehicles.
- Ghassan Aoun, 47, of Dearborn, was sentenced to serve two years of probation.
- John Taylor, 48, of Detroit, was sentenced to serve two years of probation including a six-month stay at a residential re-entry center.
- Carols Evans, 42, of Dearborn, was sentenced to serve two years of probation, including a six-month stay at a residential re-entry center.