Counterfeit Cigarette Racketeering Action Filed
(March 11, 2004 - Phoenix, AZ) Attorney General Terry Goddard announced today his office filed a civil racketeering and forfeiture action against 11 people alleging the sale, transportation and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes worth more than $1,035,190 in the Phoenix area. This was a joint investigation with the Phoenix Police Department. The case was filed against Keung Lam, Rebekah Tsui, Huynh Binh, David Ho, Hue Doan, Tam Vo, Nghiep Doan, Kim Vo, Hai Tran, Robert Zeia, and Facundo Reyes.
The undercover investigation and record checks executed by Phoenix Police and the Arizona Department of Revenue resulted in the complaint, which alleges that the Keung Lam enterprise possessed and distributed over 53,000 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes between May 2002 and September 2003. The counterfeit cigarettes are believed to be manufactured in China at a cost of about $2 per carton. The counterfeiting includes counterfeit Arizona tax stamps, depriving Arizona of this revenue.
The complaint alleges that members of the Keung Lam organization engaged in selling and distributing the counterfeit cigarettes to local retailers and were responsible for the sale of counterfeit cigarette packs to the general public. Nine vehicles, one residence, various bank accounts and U.S. Currency were seized for forfeiture. Assistant Attorney General Sandra L. Janzen is assigned to this case.