$1.1 Million Recovered After 2 Men Arrested for Selling Counterfeit Phones in Long Island

March 30, 2018 Last Updated: April 2, 2018

LONG ISLAND, New York—Authorities on Long Island announced the arrest of two men on Thursday, March 29, who they said had been selling counterfeit Apple and Samsung products from China.

Police said the suspects bought knockoff parts and repaired cellphones with them before selling them as new. They were sold online and in stores around New York City.

In addition to phones and parts, authorities recovered three vehicles and $1.1 million in cash from their home and business in Wantagh.

The investigation took four months, police said, and was a joint effort by Nassau County Police, Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“So they did a lot of surveillance at the location. We did a lot of what we called controlled deliveries—we check the package then we see where it goes—and we also did a lot of financial investigation to pick it up, so that comes to what you see today,” said Patrick Ryder, commissioner of the Nassau County Police Department.

The suspects were arrested on Monday. They are 37-year-old Gurcharan Luthra and 48-year-old Sumesh Pasricha.

Luthra is being charged with two counts of counterfeiting and Pasricha with counterfeiting and conspiracy.

“If you get a phone that you know is cheaper than what you normally pay and it’s not from an authorized dealer, don’t buy it because it’s probably not a real phone,” said Ryder.

Police said the phones can be a safety hazard as counterfeit batteries, which don’t undergo the same safety checks as real phones, can catch fire or explode.

With reporting by NTD reporter TingTing O